Reading: Acts 2:1-21
Eugene Peterson's Practicing Resurrection continues to be a wonderful Lenten book for me, thus I share another quote:
"How did God bring our Savior into the world, into our history? We have the story of what he could have done but didn't. God could have sent his Son into the world to turn all the stones to bread and solve the hunger problem worldwide. He didn't do it. He could have sent Jesus on a tour through Palestine, filling in turn the seven grand amphitheaters and hippodromes build by Herod and amazing everyone with supernatural circus performances, impressing the crowds with miracles of God's reality and presence among them. But he didn't do it. He could have set up Jesus to take over the work of governing the world–no more war, no more injustice, no more crime. He didn't do that, either."
"We also have the story of what God in fact did do. He gave us the miracle of Jesus, but a miracle in the form of a helpless infant born in poverty in a dangerous place with neither understanding nor support from the political, religious, or cultural surroundings. Jesus never left the world he had been born into, that world of vulnerability, marginality, and poverty."
"How did God bring our salvation community into the world, into our history? Pretty much the same way he brought our Savior into the world. By a miracle, every bit as miraculous as the birth of Jesus, but also under the same conditions as the birth of Jesus. Celebrity was conspicuously absent. Governments seemed oblivious to what was going on."
"God gave us the miracle of congregation the same way he gave us the miracle of Jesus, by the Descent of the Dove. The Holy Spirit descended in the womb of Mary in the Galilean village of Nazareth. Thirty or so years later the same Holy Spirit descended into the collective spiritual womb of men and women…The first conception gave us Jesus; the second conception gave us church."
I love how Peterson puts this, and he leaves me with a thought for today. Have you ever thought of your church as a miracle–a Holy Spirit, divinely crafted and empowered, counter-cultural miracle? What would it be like if we came together this Sunday with the Spirit on our hearts and the miracle in our imagination?
PRAYER: Lord, give me an imagination to see your church as a miraculous expression of your mission in the world. Amen.