Sunday, October 4, 2009

When's Jesus Coming

Yesterday we attended our nephew's wedding. In front of us sat the most darling little blond haired boy. I am guessing his age around 3 or 4. The cutest little mohawk and the brightest eyes. He was adorable and a chatterbox. Not the rude kind of chatterbox, but the kind that his mom just kept whispering 'shhh - sit down'. He was inquisitive and friendly. There was a world that he needed to know about right there in the middle of that church. As we sat there with the music playing before the wedding ceremony began, the little boy piped up and asked his momma "when's Jesus coming out?" Oh the joy of a child.

When's Jesus coming out? The question wasn't when is Jesus coming back - but when is He coming out. Can you imagine what our church's would be like if we all went with the expectation of having an encounter with Jesus right there in the middle of the sanctuary. I'm not talking about putting pastors on pedestals in the place of Jesus. Oh no. I'm talking about that thrill that comes from being in a service where the Holy Spirit is not only welcome, but expected. A place where people come genuinely wanting to hear from the Lord and room is made for Him in the church and in their lives.

Too often we find that Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit have been programmed right out of the church service. I certainly appreciate and expect pastors to have prepared for the service. They have a biblical duty to do so as they lead God's sheep. But I also believe they have a biblical duty to allow God to stir their hearts to change the message and what takes places on Sunday morning. If churches program their services too tightly, (i.e. 3 min. video, 24.5 min. sermon, 1.5 min. announcements, 10 min. singing, dismiss congregation - no exceptions) there is little room for the moving of the Spirit. The Spirit may decide to move right there in the middle of that second worship song and not really care what was about to come next.

But in order to know if the Spirit is moving right there in the middle of the second worship song or during the prayer time, we have to be attentive to the Spirit. We have to have an attitude of heart that wants to know "When's Jesus Coming Out?" As followers of Christ, we ought to live our lives not only thinking about the ultimate return of Jesus, but on a daily basis desiring an encounter with Him.

That sweet little boy wasn't going to miss it if Jesus came walking through the doors of the church. I reckon he would have stood up right in the middle of the wedding vows and shouted if had seen Jesus. He was excited and looking for him. Are you?

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