Since I started down the list of the 40 books that precipice ezine calls a "post-modern canon for the emergent church" and am very pleased with Richard Foster's "Streams of Living Water". I find it encouraging when I compare what is going on in my local church with Foster's report of "church" somewhere around 425 A.D. in Hippo. The congregation of the day was interractive with St. Augustine as he preached, "It was common for the congregation to break into the sermon- applauding when they were pleased, interrupting when they were confused, shouting and heckling when they disagreed." I'm encouraged because I feel, in my heart, that is the type of "togetherness" Jesus expects. I feel like a complete idiot sucking the life out of our young pastor and relying on him to bring us the next big "ahah" when it should be our desire to "put on the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." To that end I pray that I bring, Good Father, what promptings, musings, longings, questions, etc. that the Spirit presses on me to your Body in celebration of the Sabbath.
Last week we had someone ask what the reader meant by "seeking" God (the reader repeated the word 'seeking' many times as he discussed different scripture) when God is omnipresent. I, like my wife, sensed a little hostility in the questioners tone. Leslie was concerned that this type of thing might be offensive to some and create fear in the Body so that people didn't share. My personal feelings on this is that the question was handled well and the spirit in which it was presented was thoroughly under attack evidenced by the questioner insisting he explain "he wasn't trying to put anyone on the spot" to me as we were leaving. Oh how our Father lays bare our iniquities in his truth. I trust that this is one more way that God is preparing us for even greater ministry, opening our festering wounds to cleanse and heal. Its so easy in the traditional church model for a myriad of sins to infest the bowels of the church like a worm and causing anemia in the fruits. And as always, "The truth shall set you free".