Last night I tweeted that I am amazed at what God seems to be doing before my eyes. Amazed is a good word to describe how I feel about what I see. And I'm not just talking church size. While I am encouraged by our numerical growth (which is somewhere between 6 to 8 times the national average) I'm more encouraged by the stories I see God writing in our little chapter of redemptive history. A Harvard grad student gets radically saved and discipled and begins reaching his friends. Young men are led to real freedom from sin. The scriptures are being studied each week in a dozen-plus groups, often for the first time. And there are more stories. What do stories like this do for us? First, they should cause to thank God. Worship should always be the outcome of blessing. Second, they should inspire us to work harder than we ever have. If God has really opened a vein of gold in the granite of our city, then we'd better dig with all our might.
From yesterday, here are a few more thoughts...
Boston = Babel Maybe that sounds too simple. Or maybe our need for nuance is just symptomatic of our misunderstanding of each other, proving the point. I think we're just like the people of Genesis 11. (1) We've run from God, just like them. (2) Absent God's presence, we now build towers to get us up out of the muck of our situations. Success, intelligence, authenticity, or even religious obedience... we attempt to rise above our fallenness and return to heaven on our own. (3) God, knowing that such an enterprise is doomed, has come down to us. He's shown up in history in his Son. He's shown in up in Boston by his Spirit. (4) Just like the people of Babel were scattered out, he means to break our little towers and send us out into the world, too.
Tower Building is Tempting My how I do love to build my towers. I love the sense of accomplishment. My flesh likes to rise above others. It's good news to my soul that Jesus didn't come to help be build a better tower of self-sufficiency. He came to free from from the Sisyphus-like meaninglessness of self-helping myself (forgive me for that sentence, grammarians...)
We Need Practical Training If we're serious about taking the gospel out of our church walls, then we've got to be trained to do that. Evangelism, changed lives... these aren't things that come naturally. The leaders and I must put some practical tools together for living out this commitment. Got ideas? Great. Send them along.
I am amazed, but I'm also challenged. We must beg God for more grace to see more truth change more people for more joy for us and more glory for God.
So Lord, give us more.