26 Jan Great Thanks for Your Great Faith
As we come to the last week of the first month of the last year of the second decade of the third millenium A.D. (you’re welcome!), let me take a moment to say how grateful I am for all of you who were able to participate in our prayer and fasting to kick off the year.
We have received many answers to prayer, and many people have reported breakthroughs in their lives personally, professionally, and spiritually just in these first week weeks of the month.
Really, that final Friday prayer and worship meeting to end the fast was nothing short of remarkable to me. There were hundreds of people there, on a Friday night, in the rain, literally hungry for Jesus, but coming with energy and excitement to worship and cry out for more of Him. It was remarkable and powerful, all at once.
I must confess I felt a little like what I imagine Isaiah the prophet was feeling in Isaiah 6, when he was just worshipping in the Jewish Temple one day, and the glory of God came down in dramatic form in smoke and a shaking: I knew I came expecting something, but I didn’t expect all of this!
The reason I bring this up is simply this: Our Christian faith must be more than only a “personal relationship” with God: it must move out into our relationship with ourselves, our relationships with our neighbors, and our relationship with creation– and yet, we can never forget the “for me-ness” of the Gospel, and the crucial reality of the nearness of God that Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection means for us. Experiencing and encountering God is the fuel that propels us to change and grow, to pursue justice and reconciliation, and to steward all that God has made and has entrusted to humanity.
My point is this: Thank you to all who participated, to all who fasted, and to all who prayed that week (and throughout the year). It really matters, and it makes a real difference.
Somehow, truly, when we draw near to God, He draws near to us.
My prayer is that would continue every time we gather, and especially this Sunday, as we conclude our series on Great Faith, as we worship together, as we witness water baptisms, and as we love one another in Jesus’s name, to be empowered to be scattered for mission all across our city Let’s come expecting something great– let’s come with great faith!