Anchored: Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection:
"All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers." (ESV) Acts 1:14
This morning I noticed a pretty important change in how I am praying for us at Reservoir Church and it relates to how the followers of Christ spent their time waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit.
They were engaged, rather consumed, with seeking the Lord and following his word. They were on the verge of sacrificing everything they had and about them to follow this risen Christ. They leaned into his command and promise. Fully present, praying, and trusting in God's providence.
Now to the change in how I pray. As a small church pastor, I can find myself praying for your mere physical presence on Sundays. That you would just be there! There a slew of competing values in our lives and I could have been found to be praying "God just bring all the people that say Reservoir is their church on Sunday!" If the numbers would just be right, if we just had bodies in the seats... then we will be something. At least that is how the logic goes that informs a prayer for physical presence. Perfect attendance.
After yesterday's service along with morning devotions and prayer, it is now a full, Acts-like presence I am praying for. That we would come hungry, drink deeply of the goodness of Jesus and find our joy in him as the Spirit moves us. The number now matters less if we worship with all of who we are during the time we gather together.
I realize that for some of us, it is all we can do to drag the kids and ourselves in the door on Sundays, but imagine what it would be like to approach the gathering like an excited kid heading to Disneyland? I think that is what Jesus has in mind when he builds the church and I wonder if you would join me in praying that our hearts would be transformed to be present in that way. That the gospel would be more than enough and we would long to be with one another and minister to one another - far outside our comfort zones and personalities - all as a reflection of how the Holy Spirit is working in our lives.
It might just be something awesome!
Lord, build us into a body not only physically present but wholly present before you. That we would by your Spirit find the joy you promise, the power you give and the sweetness that is the gospel of grace. Do it for your glory that our praise of you would be heard from far away. In Jesus' matchless name we pray, Amen.