Friday, February 27, 2015

Lent #2: Evangelism Beyond the Event

       Traveling has been one of Martha’s and my deepest gifts. We have been privileged to travel to a number of countries since we took our first foreign trip as a couple to France, Italy and Austria. Something profound happened to me on these trips in the context of history, new friends, new foods and new Christian communities.
         I am also an amateur photographer, so I have lugged camera bags and tripods all over the world. When there was a particularly moving sight, I would try to capture that image. Then, after returning home, the film would get developed into photographs and Martha and I would put them into albums and store them on the shelf. Then, on cold and dreary nights, we would haul out the albums and recollect our fond memories of our travels or of our children growing up.
         I need those albums to keep some memories from fading and being forgotten altogether. Many times in looking back over pictures (now made more challenging by the digital volume I have assembled) I will have an “O Yeah!” moment when I recall a person, place or event and reflect on how it formed and blessed me.

         The early church had a great experience called Pentecost. Acts 2:1-4 tells the story of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the waiting disciples in Jerusalem, the huge crowd that was drawn, and the sermon Peter then delivered and the great conversion that followed. But such amazing experiences can be fleeting and ephemeral. The text for this Sunday looks at how God guided the disciples to keep this experience alive and lasting. Read Acts 2:42-47 and discover the marks of this healthy post-Pentecost church.


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