Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Cor 3:5)
I was witness to two dedications this week. One was performed as an almost intrusion to the regular service, with about as little love shown for the children and family as could be politely given without showing offence.
The second was a powerfully all-inclusive dedication of the child to Christ Jesus. Rather than power along with the written service, the Pastor recognised the Mother's need and, speaking kindly to her, asked her if she’d like to share anything in particular … the Mother broke down at this invitation and shared through tears how she’d walked away from Christ in her youth and only after giving birth and trying everything her way did she realise that she needed GOD’s help in bringing up her beloved daughter. In effect, the Holy Spirit led the day, which became a re-dedication of the Mother as well as a dedication of the Daughter.
In Love for the Mother and Daughter - as well as his flock, the Pastor rather surrendered his written service and instead wove their story into the tapestry of the Church in such an inclusive way that the cords of love he used became fabulously visible for all to see, feel and admire.
I don’t want this post to seem as if I were condemning the previous Church, but as my friend James McKay posted this morning, some Churches don’t need a ‘Deconstruction’ but rather a ‘Reformation’ because deconstruction seems to have an endgame of losing your faith altogether and ending up with nothing, whereas the endgame of reformation is a purified and strengthened faith that is able to sustain and strengthen us and keep us going even after we’ve ditched all the baggage of a religious faith determined again by ‘law’.
The Apostle Paul beautifully puts it this way: “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are contrary to each other, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?” (Gal 5:18)
Lord, help us all to enter into Your Blessed Reformation and be led by Your Holy Spirit. Amen!
URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS
NB - New and urgent prayer requests and updates are coming in thick and fast and getting too long to just be tagged onto the daily encouragement. As such, I've created a separate page for you to view on the below link, which will be updated constantly ...
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