Listen and Follow
Funny how God works when He wants to get our attention.
I was talking to Katie Driver, one of my spiritual mentors, the other day. I groused about how I felt that I was not following the path that Jesus wanted me on. I have had this feeling on and off since I left the pulpit 6 years ago, but the feeling has grown much stronger since I spent so much time in the hospital with plenty of time to talk with Jesus about life. That period gave me plenty of time to re-learn how to listen to God speak, and wait on Him, rather than simply speaking to Him. (And it seems that these days He speaks to me so often I cannot find time to blog about it all).
I kept thinking God may be prompting me to start a home church, as Irina and I have different comfort levels with churches. Her roots in the Russian Orthodox church lend to her comfort in conservative worship, while my past interfaith work has tended to lead me to a more contemporary worship style. I have had many “signs” such as the rekindling of my spiritual relationshp with Katie Driver (she is an amazing conduit for church planting).
This thought came up again last night, on the eve of Easter, as Irina and I were discussing why God came to earth in the form of man. Irina is well grounded in biblical studies, but she is accustomed to her church telling her how to be spiritual. Despite being a lousy teacher, I have a gift in my ability to relate the Word to current situations for people and give them things to think about and take in on their own. Our discussion eventually came to relationships, and how the “pre-Jesus” church reflected what she was used to, and how Jesus was all about relationships. (Here is a good blog entry on Christian relationships being like 3-legged races.)
I went to bed thinking “maybe I will start a Sunday morning family study, and invite anyone who wants to come.”
I did start the morning with a link from Ulysses Potter on Keith Green’s Easter song. Keith talks about relationships with Jesus, and not hiding our walk with Him from the world. I especially liked the part about “why are they asking questions during the service, with their eyes closed?”
Ira and I then went to church at St. Brendan’s Parish in Bothell today, for the Easter service. We are members of St. Louise in Bellevue, but since our daughter is enrolled in the St. Brendan Parish School, we wanted to “check it out”, as Bothell is much closer to us, and we have a bit of discomfort at St. Louise. I really did not feel well this morning, but I really felt a need to go today.
I can say that we felt at home there, and Father Jim Northrop’s homily was deep reaching in my soul. I had an “episode” during the service, and we had to leave early – but I will leave that story and my hopes about the meaning for another day.
After we came home, I visited Father Jim’s personal website, and found a short entry where he said “We need bishops, priests, and lay leaders who are dedicated to the Gospel and not ashamed of it.”
All this was confirmation to me that I should be more proactive in using my gifts and knowledge of the Word more effectively for Jesus. However, I have readjusted my thoughts on the home church, and will still consider the family study (open to anyone who’s interested). I will also keep Katie’s words to me in mind – that we sometimes need to stop to replenish our spiritual fuel, despite the fact we want to get to the destination quickly.
We will see what happens. In the meantime, I will keep this blog blog entry on “Ragamuffin Prayers” that I came across today in mind, while I search for the path God wants me to follow.
I go in the name of Jesus, till next time.