Benedict rose to the challenge (calling others who would awake to it also) of another way than that offered by the Church of his day – creating alternate counterculture learning communities to live simply, biblically and faithfully. He didn’t set out to change the world and had no idea how important these little groups of faithful, obedient disciples would prove to be for generations to come. What might such ‘apostolic hubs’ look like in our day?
Now here in the West the question arises more than any time in my life whether the light of the gospel that we have been handed on, that we are to shine before all people, may be in danger of going out? The historic value of the church in society, the idea that this is a Christian nation, that the word of God has a hearing, that flame is burning down in society, in churches and, yes, believers.
Here’s something that the church should be known for and it seems to me to be more needed in the world than ever. We are constantly told that so many things are in short supply and I know at times, as I reflect now on sabbatical, I’m asking God to increase this attitude and put it into action. I’m not always as kind as I could be. Who do you know and when you think of them you’d say ‘that’s a kind person.’ (Let me know in the comments?) Maybe some people are kinder than others by nature? But I am talking about the supernatural gift the Holy Spirit wants to be more evident in you and me. That famous passage in Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit— characteristics that are meant to grow inside of us as we live for God and let his life and love change us from the inside out. LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE…. the Holy Spirit wants to develop these in us so we mature in our lives as Jesus followers. And number 5 on […]
“My God,” he prayed aloud, “I’ve served You on earth.. And my reward should be that I shouldn’t die before I bring a Jew to Christ, because Jesus was from the Jewish people.” He sighed. “But I’m poor, old, and sick. I can’t go around and find a Jew. In my village, there aren’t any. Bring a Jew into my village, and I’ll do my best to lead him to Christ.”
Some time around 10pm (I think) a singer put down his trumpet and said, ‘The Holy Spirit is here, let’s be silent and welcome his presence.’
Within a few minutes, we all knew the anointing, overwhelming, presence of God – come to counsel and comfort, to convict the world with regard to sin and righteousness and judgement.As I looked around I saw hundreds, many hundreds, all kinds of people around the Arena where not long ago death and horror reigned doing just that men and women and young people coming back to life! Hands up everywhere. Many were in tears and others smiling broadly as they did business with God in what was now surely a holy place as he made himself present where he had been so royally welcomed and honoured. The King had come.