Come Holy People
“The church has been gathering to say ‘Come, Holy Spirit,’ and in His grace He has come. But perhaps the tables are turning. Perhaps it is now the Holy Spirit’s turn and He is saying to us, ‘Come, holy people.’ Perhaps the Holy Spirit is waiting for us to attend His meetings in surprising places.
Just as Jesus 2,000 years ago spent His time at parties, engaging with the disreputable and apparently non-religious, so today He seems surprisingly comfortable among the crowds of partygoers, the non-religious pilgrims of our time. Perhaps He longs that we would vacate our buildings from time to time, that we would turn our temples into tabernacles, that we would become like Him, the friend of sinners. We are the light of the world, but no one wants to stare at the bulb. We are the salt of the earth, but a whole plate of the stuff will make you sick. The people of God are called to scatter and mix, to mingle and move, in influence from a position of weakness, like a small child in a large family, like yeast in a loaf, like a mustard seed beneath a pavement.
Could it be that the Holy Spirit is weary of attending our meetings and hungers for our presence at His? Perhaps He’s dreaming up a thousand new meeting places, where new sounds and sights burn the eyes and break the heart! Maybe the time has finally come when it will no longer be possible to encounter the fullness of God in Christian conferences and classic meetings. Maybe this is a new day in which the fullness of God waits us in the streets and clubs and pubs. But will we hear the Holy Spirit saying, “Come, holy people?”
He waits with Jesus in the darkness until we come, and yet we wonder why maybe He didn’t show up the way we hoped at some of our grand events.
Of course, God will still attend our meetings – Jesus has promised to come whenever we gather in His name. And He is, let’s remember, omnipresent! But perhaps there is a weariness, even a reluctance in His heart, as He gazes back over his shoulder, out the church door, and into the street.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
Maybe our 24-7 war cry “Come On!” is flipping around. Maybe we’re in store for some backdraft as the angels yell “Come on!” at us while we hide in holy huddles and Christian cuddles – even in prayer rooms – so safe and sound in every way. We’ve spent much time saying, “Come, Holy Spirit”, and He came! Now, if the Spirit says, “Come,” the question is this: Will be obey?”
From Pete Greig’s “Red Moon Rising”
This passage comes up pretty regularly in my life and shakes me up in a good way.
The Supreme Being and That Big Hole in the Ground
At the beginning of this last summer my best friend, his little brother, and I, traveled to the Grand Canyon. It was about a 4 hour drive from my home. Along the way we talked about many things. Light subjects, like what was the best movie we had seen that year and what the greatest new flavor of bubble-gum was. When we turned onto the single road that leads to the Grand Canyon there began to be signs for pit-stops. Chances to get out of the car, stretch and begin to see your first views of the Grand Canyon. We stopped at every look-out point (there must have been 20 of them). I remember just looking out across the expanse and wondering how far it was to the other side.
Let me tell you something about the Grand Canyon, it’s huge, colossal, great in magnitude, obnoxiously big, vast, Grand. There are no words in the English, or, I’m sure, in any other language to truly describe how enormously jumbo this canyon really is. I could tell you measurements and depths and lengths but even then there would be no way to fully explain this ridiculously extensive canyon. I remember sitting on the edge of this considerably large hole after we had reached the main lookout point that included the gift store and history museum. I remember thinking to myself “Gee, this sure is Grand” and it was. Now, being me, I absolutely love describing things. It’s the writer in me. To say I was displeased that I could not actually get a handle on what exactly this canyon was or that I would never be able to describe it to anyone who had never been there, is accurate.
I sat there, feeling the breeze on my back and wondering how long it would take me to fall to the bottom (everybody wants to know how it feels to fly), I realized that there was something very spiritual about it all. There I was, sitting on the edge of a big hole in the ground having a deeply moving and spiritual experience. That’s just it, there is no way to describe the Grand Canyon. I could show you a million pictures, I could give you measurements of every cliff, how wide across is the farthest expanse and how deep is the deepest valley, I could even take you there and throw you off the edge and you would still end up hitting the bottom not ever grasping what this Grand Canyon is. You see, God is very much like the Grand Canyon. There is no box you can put God into, there is nothing like him. He fits into none of the categories of our knowledge of existence. Think about the Grand Canyon, is it really grand?
Grand: Adjective. impressive in size, appearance, or general effect
Yes, the Grand Canyon fits that description, but is that really all there is to it?
Father: Noun. any male acting in a paternal capacity; related: paternal
Yes, that fits God, or at least some of God, but is that all there really is to him?
Many people have tried to describe God and all have been found wanting. To describe relationship with God is to describe God. God is father, that canyon is Grand but does either word really describe their subjects? The answer is no, and to figure out what kind of characteristics that each word can point to, one must experience their subjects. Experience God and you will find out more of his character and of what Father really means when we use it to address our creator. Spend time with God for the rest of your life and find all there is to know about him, then come back to me and try to explain what God is using words. Visit the Grand Canyon, spend the rest of your life exploring it and hiking through the valleys and then see what you find. After that, come back to me and try to explain to me what the Grand Canyon is using words.
Elements of God’s Story for Us
So I’ve been reading a couple of books lately, one of them being Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. First off, this is a freaking awesome book that everyone should go buy right now and read it all tonight, by morning your life will be changed. Just kidding, but seriously go get the book. In the book, Donald Miller brings up this crazy similarity between the elements of a story that you learned back in literature class and our story as human beings created by God.
How did these story elements come about?
Let’s start with setting. Setting is where we are right now our city, home, and the people around us, other characters we are interacting with. Don says that we understand setting because we experience it, it’s always surrounding us. Setting is something easy for us to comprehend because it is so tangible.
Now what makes a story really good? A little bit of conflict. Yes, we have conflict in our daily lives but even more importantly and even more relevant to our relationship with God is spiritual conflict. There is a war happening in the spiritually that we are a part of and having that really brings to reality the conflict of stories and what makes the conflict in stories so intriguing to us.
This part is really cool. The climax of a story. Climax is defined as that turning point in a story where an important decision is made to turn the tides of the story. For us, it is that decision to choose Christ as our Lord and Savior. Crazy, right? The biggest decision we can make and it is so simple. It wasn’t so simple for Jesus but for us to simply choose Jesus and believe that He died on that cross for our sins is the biggest climax for any story. Which leads me to the ending of the story.
The resolution comes from that decision. To either follow Jesus, or ignore Him. This leads to eternal life or eternal damnation. All you have to do is make one simple choice of Jesus. It’s not even Jesus plus doing a whole bunch of good things to try and make Him want you more. It’s Jesus plus nothing. Jesus wants you there next to Him. For you to have that happily ever after at the end of your story.
I just found it so cool that God can reveal Himself in the most simple, insignificant parts of our lives. Everything goes back to God. He created it, so why shouldn’t it? You have the most important decision to make in your story and I pray that you make that decision to follow Jesus.You choose the resolution for your story, make it a happily ever after.
PFC Andrew Adamson