December 8th, 2003



But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

—Jesus (John 14:26-27)

He's teaching and reminding me a great deal these days; working on my listening skills would be a good idea.

Gathering of Prayer last night made me furious, an unusual response to a prayer meeting. Frustrated with the low turnout and, beneath that, our church's attitude toward prayer. There are two broad categories of explanation: either we do not believe in the power and primacy of prayer because of our comforts, disappointments, and doubts, or we are somewhere, however dimly, aware that an encounter with the living God is a fearful thing that will change us and we do not wish to be changed. My suspicion, based on my own character, is that a measure of each is at play.

While praying, a plan began to form. Our church's maturity is something God is committed to working on. We are the bride of Christ, and we will be presented to Him clean, pure, and radiantly beautiful. It occurred to me to draw together a "Fellowship of the Unsettled," a handful of members who are concerned with seeing our church drawn back to the essentials of our relationship with God: worship, prayer, fellowship, and study. We can function as agitators, using our different approaches, gifts, and spheres of influence to be involved in the Spirit's stirring of our church. We'll see what happens.

Some from the meeting gathered afterward for coffee at Victrola. I made a stop at the pub with Annette to grab a bite to eat and caught up to the group a little later. Upon joining them, I was pleased to find my friends already wrestling with some of the same concerns. The Spirit is moving, I believe.

I confessed, toward the end of our time, that my decisions to be more present socially are never without an agenda. We are a people in the midst of a war, and there are battles yet to come. I need to know those who will fight before me, beside me, and behind me. They need to know me. It was good for me to be able to tell them that, and I pray it was a good thing for them to hear.
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