Friday, June 2, 2017

Devotional 6-4-17

Acts 2:1-4 (Common English Bible)

1When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

As a deacon, part of my calling is to help lead the church out of the building and into the world -- our great commission is to go and make disciples, after all!  But it is important to remember and rejoice in the aspects of unity and fellowship that being together in one place provides.  The apostles were together regularly to eat and to talk and to remember their time with Christ when, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to them.

Many have asked about our current renovation work - why are we doing it, can we afford it, what are we going to do with the new space?   Again, as a deacon, part of my calling is to help lead the church OUT of the building.  But in our ministry context, we are literally within the mission field of those needing the hope and love of Christ as much as anyone anywhere in the world.  We face unprecedented rates of addiction, which is causing unprecedented rates overdoses, incarceration, and broken families.  

Johnson Memorial UMC has been abundantly blessed by many generous families through the years.  Many have left gifts to the church designated solely for building improvements and upgrades.  With the help of many in the church, we have visioned and discerned how ministry in Huntington, at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, might look in a building that is more easily accessible to all, a building that is inviting and welcoming to our neighbors, a building that has space available for other groups and churches to do ministry alongside us.

But the building is still just a building.  With the improvements to the physical structure, we must continue to pray for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the life of our church.  We must pray for the ability to speak in the language of those around us, the ability to connect with those who need to know the love of Christ, through us.  And we must pray that as we gather together, it is with the expectancy that the Holy Spirit will continue to come upon us, giving us the power and the courage to go and make disciples of all the nations, starting at our front door!

Rev. Alan Williams

No comments: