Friday, August 13, 2010

Stir the Church up... again

I have always found it interesting that around Labour Day we have this particular Collect, and usually on the Sunday of the Long weekend itself that calls us to be ready for revival. The Collect reads,

“Stir up O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that richly bearing the fruit of good works, we may by you, be richly rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.”

So why is it necessary for God to stir up his people again? Is it because we are back from summer break and the year starts again for the Church. Perhaps this is true in part. But we are not going to be shaken out of a blissful summer slumber. We have been busy throughout the summer and there are ways that we have made the kingdom known. And yet we ask God to blow through us like a freshening breeze blows through the sails of a two-masted schooner that is ready for the fishing grounds and needs to leave her port.

We need to remember that the Church was born of wind and of flame not to sweep us up into heaven but to send and guide us down the hot and dusty roads of this word so that we might lift up the downcast, heal the broken, reconcile what has been lost, and bring peace amongst the unrest (Garth House). God moves and breathes to lift us up again that he might make us instruments of his new creation.

We have been noted as faithful people but we are not permitted by our faith to rest on our laurels and what we did yesterday. It is necessary for God to renew in us the strength and the zeal that makes us ready to serve him this fall and in this moment. We need to be stirred up because can get tired and restless. We can lose focus and confidence in God, in each other and in ourselves. So we need to be stirred up again in this long green season so that we might continue to offer ourselves in service of God. In this way we can make known to the rest of God’s world that the God with the skin on is here.

Here comes the wind of God, ready to lift us up that we might glorify him.

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