I am preaching this coming Sunday at Community Life Church on Grand Manan Island. The first time I preached here, I was 16 years old. It was most likely a Wednesday evening in my Grade 12 year. God was stirring the hearts of a very large number of teenagers at the time. I never had any idea of how to put a sermon together … it just seemed to fall to me to be the preacher for a group of 70 or 80 teens who used to meet weekly at some church or sand beach on the island. There were no “real” preachers involved. It was a grass roots kind of thing that had a life of its own … actually God was breathing life into the whole thing. These days shaped my ideas of what it meant to be a follower of Christ.
This was one of two times in my life that I have been caught up in what God was doing. The other was a period of 5 years in Jamestown NY, serving a beautiful church and a godly senior pastor. Once again, I didn’t have a sweet clue what to do and that didn’t seem to matter to God. As I think of it though, we may be poised more for a movement of God when we simply listen to His voice and respond. When we feel that we know what to do to make things happen, they seem to fall flat or fizz out quickly. Then we pat ourselves on the back and comment about what a good time or thing it was that we accomplished. I’ve done that too and truthfully it was never as good as we imagined.
I long to be once more in the midst of a movement of God that is so much of Him that no one could make a “How To” seminar out of it. If Acts 2 occurred today, you’d be able to purchase a DVD and workbooks within a month so that you could reproduce it in your own church. There is nothing more hollow that trying to make something out of spiritual memories. I don’t want to go back to either of these watershed moments in my own life. There is something ahead in the valleys and on the mountaintops that will make the past look like child’s play.
This Sunday, Lord willing, I will have a chance to stand in the place of a very good pastor and speak to people who are hungry for another fresh wind of the Spirit to blow … a spiritual Nor’easter maybe. That’s what I am hoping for.