|Photo: OZinOH, Creative Commons, cc license|
A day later and the city is still buzzing. This man whom they had grown so accustomed to seeing bent up and begging under the Gate Beautiful was now walking whole-limbed and limber throughout Jerusalem--leaping even--and saying God had done this.
Low-lying cirro-nimbus clouds fly past above the fence line and treetops, white wisps in a blue sky that bely a summer evening of 7:45 already. Verdant green canopies sway in an evening breeze. Silver dogwood underbelly leaves flash golden twilight, while my son mows trenches through knee-high grass and puffed dandelion heads. Wind chimes act as windsocks, blowing melody to the west. Deck shadows grow long and a blazing orange sun sits twenty degrees above the horizon.
Yesterday afternoon, sneakers thudding and walkman blasting, I ran past a church. The red blinking sign told me the days and times for youth programs and Sunday worship. And I smiled and prayed for that church, for the teens and families who streamed through their doors each week, and for their pastors. I prayed blessings on them: that God would use their ministries wildly. I prayed protection for them: for their pastors, ministries, leaders, volunteers, and attendees. I ran past sweating and smiling, praying for their church to grow in numbers and depth.
|Photo: Neil Howard, Creative Commons, cc license|
Our jobs as people in the pews is to love God, to love and serve others, and to "never stop speaking about what we have seen and heard [God do]." Like Peter and John in the stirred-up city of Jerusalem with The Man Formerly Known as the Cripple following them around, jumping and jiving in his newly-healed legs.
We're not in competition as churches, we are in community and in common. And we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard God do.
So, I'm praying for your churches, as I pass them, think of them, or think of you. Will you pray for mine too? "Salvation is found in no one else" and we can't help speaking about our God!
(Linking too with gentle Ann in thanks.)