Times are a’changing…indeed!

I haven’t had the luxury of extended times of reflection in recent months…I’m aware what I’m about to write have already been beautifully articulated, expressed and in the thick of many conversations for a long time…but the bottom line is…there’s a wave of change upon us. We’ve been in it for awhile. It seems that there’s an openness to change, and that much of what has been defensiveness is melting away. For some, the outworking of this seems to be extended to very courageous decisions in response to what the Lord is doing.

 

All year, I have returned to this passage, and the Lord keeps speaking to me through it…Haggai 2:1-9 “The word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Speak to Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest and to the remnant of people.  Ask them, “Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? But now be strong, O Zerubbabel,” declares the Lord, “Be strong O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,” declares the Lord, “and work. For I am with you,” declares the Lord. This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear. “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” 

 

This passage is pointing to what was to come through Jesus. We are living now in that expression of glory and of the Kingdom. I have had the joy of visiting different contexts in amongst the Aussie Vineyard Churches. I have also been interested in the dialogue going on around the globe, there’s so much talk at the moment about the way we ‘do’ church. Others are using the phrase how we ‘be’ church. Some actually prefer not to even use the word ‘church’. What I hear from the Lord is   “For I am with you. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.”  He is concerned about His glory. Most of you will think I’m talking out of our current experience at YVV  (Peter and Kathy Downes, our senior pastors have recently resigned and left in September). Of course, I speak with that partially in mind but not wholly, as it’s across the board for all of us.

 

Reading Ezra 3:11 about Solomon’s temple… “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: He is good, His love to Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and the Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.”

Are there mixed emotions towards what is happening as we navigate the change upon us? If we choose to play the game of  “remember when….” then we’ll cut the heart out of what’s happening. Allowing criticism or cynical responses also destroys life. Watching the Back to Our Roots DVD reminds me again that it is because of the whole church and the foundation of what has been before us, (and also the unique history, heritage and flavour of the Vineyard within that mix), that we are who we are today.  

We are a simple, devoted people who delight in Jesus and are devoted to Him alone. Whatever He is building is what I want to be a part of. I find it exciting and challenging. But mostly, I am so amazed He invites us to be a part of it.

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Susanne
    Nov 09, 2006 @ 11:19:26

    .

    Thanks for sharing these scriptures. You write things so well and capture what a few of us are thinking in this post.
    The Lord is shaping things to come there is a stirring among his people and a molding of new things. Those new things, they don’t look like what the ‘church’ use to look like and it is difficult for some as they wept for the former glory. I believe that the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ We must keep our eyes on the only one who brings that Glory Jesus (the giver or life)

    Yesterday one of the mature Christian ladies shared in our ladies spiritual nurture group. The message was on Jesus being the all sufficient one and keeping our eyes on him because the church is about Him not about us.
    He is the head we are the body. If we keep our hearts soft and moldable to his desires, Than we will be a people that will delight in His wonders, shout his praises and see his Glory like never before.

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