Celebrating the disciplines of connecting, growing and serving
Awesome things happened on that first Pentecost celebration of the church. Awesome in the truest sense of that word – an experience of the power of God. God’s power always gets attention, and that was evident as the crowd gathered outside the room where the disciples waited and prayed.
It strikes me, however, that the Pentecost experience was made possible by the practice of the spiritual disciplines of connecting – connecting with God and with one another. Act 2 begins not with the great sounds and tongues of fire but with waiting and being together:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.” (Acts 2:1)
And the Pentecost experience was sustained in their community not by the ecstatic experience – the apostles did the miracles – but by the disciplines of prayer, fellowship and community:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many miraculous signs and wonders were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47)
The image that strikes me when I think about this passage is the mature tree, roots deeply connected to God and branches full of the fruit of the Spirit. I know this works because the plum tree in our front yard is just beginning to produce what promises to be a bumper crop this year! What connects the root and the fruit is the boring part of the tree, the trunk. But the trunk supports the branches, and it is through the trunk that the resources flow from roots to fruit. And it is in the trunk that the hard work of maturity happens. Between the spiritual disciplines of connecting with God and the harvest of the Spirit’s fruit, we grow in grace by using our spiritual gifts. This is the hardest work of being the church.
My challenge to our ACRC family is to mature in the disciplines of growth this year.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
Let’s grow in grace this year!
Keep the Pentecost faith, Pastor Doug Fakkema, Anacortes CRC