Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Beginnings

Eugene Peterson’s example challenges me. When he and his wife Jan planted – began – a new church in the suburbs of Baltimore they went to Acts 1 and 2 the story of the beginning of the church for guidance.

Bill and I are embarking on a new adventure – a new beginning – so I too am pondering the account in Acts 1. It is generating questions:
·        Are there similarities between the beginning of the church and our next beginning?
·        Are there principles to copy?
·        How is God’s Word about the beginning of the church informing our beginning this fall and winter?

As I’m praying and listening the guidance unfurls piece by piece.
            1.  Keep remembering God’s work in the past. That’s how Luke started.
            2.  Wait for the Holy Spirit, Jesus orders (ESV, verse 4). Ahhhh, waiting – perhaps the biggest challenge. But there is something different about this waiting. The waiting anticipates; there is expectancy; there is promise. My friend calls it energy. Energetic waiting compels me.
            3.  Be devoted to prayer – part of energetic waiting. Jesus has returned to heaven; the disciples are left behind. Along with some women (verse 14) this is the first recorded activity.
            4.  They selected the replacement for Judas – they determined their community.

The pattern in Acts 1 proposes a pattern for me. I’m anticipating God speaking AND – I don’t need answers tomorrow (wow, is this a new Sue?)! I’m reviewing God’s leading; I’m praying; I’m considering who is a part of our community and I’m waiting – waiting with great anticipation that God will reveal His will in this new beginning.

“In the beginning, God created …”
Genesis 1:1

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