Every once in a while, we get to see God’s incredible timing. As you know we’ve been praying and fasting our way through the book of Joel as a church. This week we turned a corner to the themes of “restore” and “return”. We read about God’s gracious blessings on His peple after a time of suffering, chastising, and repentance. We looked at the promises of God for both present and future blessings, to “…be glad O children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God.” We focused on Joel 2:28, 29.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
For over 2000 years God’s people have celebrated the long-awaited fulfillment of Joel 2:28, 29 as God literally ignited the New Testament church in Acts 2. Many of you know that this upcoming Sunday, May 31 is Pentecost Sunday. Jesus told the impatient disciples to go to Jerusalem to wait until they would receive power when the Holy Spirit would come up them.
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4
The church began to blaze with hearts full of love and power, meeting wherever they could–in homes and under trees and in holes in the ground when they needed to. They loved each other and loved those around them, proving to the world the reality of the living Christ who promised to return someday in all of His glory.
Last Sunday we were singing in response to the message from our “Family Matters” series. The lyrics overwhelmed me because they are so timely and so beautifully fit. “Like a bride waiting for her groom, we’ll be the church waiting for You.” We’ve been talking about this beautiful picture of Christ and the church mysteriously mirrored by a husband and wife relationship. Like a waiting bride, we’re eager and active, working while we wait, dreaming of the future, but diligent in the here and now.
This week the President, the Governor, and the state of California said that churches are considered “essential” and published new guidelines for starting church services on campus again! But alas, the county of Santa Clara has not yet endorsed those guidelines. Our people, pastors, elders and staff are praying and planning about how and when to meet in our services. But in the meantime, we are not idly sitting by. Just like the church in Acts 2 we’re living and loving those around us with the love and Gospel of Christ. We are looking forward to our future and final fulfillment of all the promises of God regarding restoration. While we talk about “re-opening”, in the most important sense, the church never closed! We’re meeting online, as families, by phone – however we need to in order to bring glory to God and to accomplish His purposes in these days of waiting.
And just like the church in Acts 2, this Sunday we’ll gather however we can, wherever we can. We’ll hear seven unique stories from a panel of couples who are putting Christ at the center of their relationships. We asked them 10 questions about their successes and struggles in making relationships work, especially challenging in our season of shelter in place regulations! Does God have a plan for His perfect timing? We know He does!
P.S. We have a special celebration of Pentecost at the beginning of our services this weekend. I urge you not to miss it! Let me also invite you to our prayer Gathering this Sunday night. Join us by zoom. Email email@example.com to get the zoom link.
P.P.S. Our beloved brother Bill Prouty went to be with Jesus last Saturday. Pray for Bobbi and their family as we plan to celebrate Bill’s life and love for Christ as soon as possible.