“While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.”
When All Hell Breaks Loose
(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
Prior to the sermon on Sunday at each service, I asked the entire congregation to get up and move to a different seat in the worship center. This small diversion from our usual routine generated a lot of energy as folks adjusted to a “new perspective” in the sanctuary.
When you think about it, it has to be one of the greatest ironies on the planet that church people, of all people, so often tend to prefer things in the church to be planned and orderly and predictable. I say it is ironic because when we look at the way the Christian faith first exploded into history and shattered all previous understandings of life and death and eternity, orderly and predictable are nowhere to be found!
In this explosive 10th chapter of Acts, the rules are changing about who could be included among the followers of Jesus, known at the time as people of the way. If the people of faith had clung to their “traditions”, if they had held tightly to the old ways and stayed right in their usual spots, you and I would not be here today.
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. What are some of the changes you have experienced in the church over the years? What motivated or caused these changes to take place?
2. Only about half of the people in most communities have a meaningful connection to a local church. What changes to the ministry and outreach of the church might cause people outside of the church to consider getting involved?
3. On a scale from 1-10 with 1 being the most open to change, how open are you to significant change in the church which is motivated by a desire to reach out with the gospel of Christ?
Maybe you have fallen into familiar patterns as a member of the community of faith in Christ, which is the church. This week, challenge yourself to step out of your routine. Maybe choose a different worship service than the one you usually attend. Try sitting at a different table during coffee fellowship. Small changes like these can reveal how easy it is to fall into ruts that can keep us from experiencing new things our God would love to show us!