Sunday, January 28, 2007

An Eternal Perspective


2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (New International Version)
14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
It was Saturday morning and Brenda and I were having our after breakfast coffee--a time when we ignore the laundry, the dishes and the other chores and just hang out for as long as we can before the world catches up to us.
We got to talking--I guess because our annual church business meeting is coming up--about how many people we could think of who found Christ as Lord and Saviour in the past year. We came up with zero.
We thought of how much of our church life is focused on ourselves and each other and talked of our need to reach out. I don't mean to make our church sound insular--it isn't--we support missions and have an amazingly well run children's program--and kids from the town, who don't go to church, come out and love it--but--the zero bugged us.
I was talking to someone from our church this week. I asked her how she came in the first place. She told me how some thirty years ago, Pastor Burston knocked on her door and asked if she had kids who'd like to come to Sunday School. There's so much more to her story than that, but in my minds eye I could see him, a stocky, distinguished and handsome Englishman with a head of sweeping white hair, wearing a suit and always an elegant tie. He always smelled wonderful--of some pleasant cologne; he had a keen wit and was a powerful orator--but above all else, even though he was human and had as many frailties as the rest of us--he had a passion for souls. That passion translated into hours spent walking the streets "fishing" for men, women and children. I know that there are multi-generational families in our church now because his hand knocked on a door and when it opened, it was a turning point in someone's life.
Prayer: Father do a new thing among us. Give us an eternal perspective on life. Cause us to weep for the lost and the broken. Fill our hearts with a passion for people who need you for this life and for eternity. Help us to forget ourselves and be lost in you. Fill us anew with your Holy Spirit of power and give us hearts to serve in the place you want us to serve, in humility and love.
Acts 2:42-47 (New International Version)
The Fellowship of the Believers
42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

I loved the "sound" of Pastor Burston's voice (I could actually hear him as I read), saying "Do you have any kids who'd like to go to Sunday School?" I think that over the years my invitations have moved from enthusiastic to almost apologetic...."We have such-and-such going on at our church, and if you wouldn't mind and you think the children might like it, I'd be happy to take them along with me." I need to rework my invitation, I think! Thanks for the reminder.