The weekend after Easter is always an interesting weekend at a church. Our peeps did such a stellar job on the whole invite thing that Easter was packed and a bit out of control. Since we’ve consciously decided to basically do a buffed out version of a normal weekend on Christmas Eve and Easter, you hope that lots of people who don’t regularly show up will decide they might want to re-thing that and choose to come back.
For me personally it was super fun to have some friends that checked things out on Easter weekend show back up this weekend. It kind of made my day on Sunday.
Here are a few thoughts and highlights of the weekend:
THE LITTERAL LEAP IN ACTS 14 – In part two of our series, Beyond Belief we looked at the “leap of faith” that seems to be what activates real faith. I landed on that great story in Acts 14 of the Apostle Paul in Lystra. It was a fun message for me to do. The passage makes sense to me. The exegetical cards are pretty much face up on the table. But there are a few lingering existential or experiential questions that I’m turning over and that I continue to work on. Foremost among them for me, is in verse 9
Acts 14:9 This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be 1made well,
What did that “seeing” look like (pun intended)? What was it that Paul was experiencing when he saw that the man had faith to be made well? I confess that for many years I glazed over this going to the “well he was an apostle card.” Of course that answers nothing and pretty much sucks dry the power of Acts as any kind of model or picture of New Covenant, Holy Spirit empowered life and ministry (you can look over 2 Corinthians 3 if you want to think more about this). So assuming that these things are normative, how does one “see” this?
I have some ideas that I shared in the message. I do think that this is sometimes where some of the gifts of the Spirit called “Word of Knowledge” come in. At the end of the 2nd service as I was closing the message and inviting people to get prayed for, I invited those with problems in their “hips” to come forward for prayer. There were several that came feeling like it was for them and we had one person report a pretty dramatic healing.
There are lots of practical questions that I wrestle with trying to “stay in step with the Spirit” but I’m o.k. with wrestling. I hope I’m in a place of preferring wrestling to settling for less.
Additional note: We used a powerful clip from the movie “Henry Poole Is Here”. If you haven’t seen this, it is a must see.
SELAH – Our monthly Selah was one of those times where it’s very obvious God was in the room. The worship thread (unplanned) had us “at the feet of Jesus” – seemed like the songs all ended up there. It seems like that is a place of surrender and letting go of our wills. Where the Lord took us was praying for those at crossroad and with a kind of dreadful decision weight on them. We also had a leading to pray for some deep depressions and sadness. I really can’t write about it without it sounding way more sterile than it was. If you go to Journey, don’t miss the next Selah. It’s truly a “ya never know…” kind of thing.
GREAT WEDDING – I did a wonderful wedding on Saturday.
It was a great celebration of this gift from God, but more than that, the groom really made that beautiful personal connection with God in the course of their relationship. I also heard some great stories of God at work at the reception. I’m thinking some my journey’s are coming out of this. Also, I had never heard of or been to the Junipero Serra Museum (Click here). It was so beautiful with a spectacular view. I would say that less that 1 in 10 weddings I perform are indoors and I love that.