Thursday, September 20, 2007

Early Morning reflections

This morning finds me between Women's World Cup Soccer games, and reflecting on the scriptures and call I have heard of late.

This past Sunday I shared with the congregation at Del Rosa UMC the ongoing call I have heard for my own repentance and the repentance of the congregation. To that end I have asked them to join me in a time of prayer and fasting.

My hope is that the prayers will lead to opened eyes for the sins we have committed individually and corporately, and be followed by repentance for those acts, allowing us the space to move forward into the future God has called us.

Which brings me to the fasting. We need to take some time to show restraint for the ongoing consumption we pursue in our lives, and seek to be consumed by God. In so doing, my hope is that a vision for where God is calling Del Rosa UMC will emerge.

There is much to see and do in this community, all for the glory of God. Now to find our hope in returning to God through prayer and fasting.

As I ventured into this realm of prayer and fasting I began to wonder if this was really where I was being called at this time. And then I found some great amazement at the power of John Wesley's "Experience". Experience for Wesley was not that you had this great experience where God told you go and do something, and you did; at least for Wesley it was not sufficient that it end there. Experience was those occasions when God called you to do something and there was an inward and an outward experience that confirmed one another.

I have had two in the seeking after God in prayer and fasting. I had a lady come to Cluster council the other night with the word from God to pray for rain weighing heavy on her heart. She had been disturbed in her sleep, had been coming again and again to passages about the deserts and the rain, and turning in repentance. I immediately saw this for the confirmation of God's own word of repentance for me. Additionally, I started preparing for teaching Joel this week for our Wednesday night Bible Study. Joel speaks to this very issue of repentance, of the rains being restored to the lands when the people have repented, and that repentance begins with prayer and fasting.

Amazing what following the lectionary can bring to one's ministry, as I sought the background for Jeremiah and the solutions he fostered to the terrible tragedies he foretold for the people of Israel. Peaching the prophets this summer the troubles and travails have been prevalent, but it is the repentance that saves the people time and again.

So I ask you now, will YOU join me in a time of prayer and fasting? Let us awaken the Lord to the promises made to his people, as his people return with prayer and fasting in an attitude of repentance.



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