Friday, 22 August 2008
Sometime last week Mark 6:6b-13 came to mind. It is when Jesus sends out the 12 Disciples and gives instructions to them. He tells them to take the bare minimum, to go in pairs and to only stay where there is a welcome and a listening ear. What he doesn't need to tell them to do is call people to turn to God, drive out evil from peoples lives and do healing. Why? Because anyone who spends time with Jesus will do these kind of things - it goes with the territory - they do what they saw Jesus doing. That's a challenge for us!
I like the thought that there is another implication in what Jesus tells them not to take... it is that going out in pairs with just a staff (well everyone needs something to lean on) and the clothes they stand in is enough. It is enough to have someone to walk with, someone to travel with - that is enough to do what Jesus did.
There has been a recognition amongst quite a number of us who lead churches in Harrogate that we need to walk together. That walking together is good. It isn't about spending all the time with each other or being exactly like each other it is simply about seeking to do what we can together... walk. The Outpouring gatherings have been a case in point, the regular monthly prayer meetings and we hope also the gathering of the church leaders at Wydale in September will be a manifestation of this.
A friend of mine, in commenting about the current outpouring (visitation) of the Spirit that we are seeing, said "don't live the experience... live relationship... where power is increased and outpoured seek to build community". Wise words. In the kingdom it is always relationship first.