Should I Stay or Should I Go?

August 6, 2014

Should I Stay or Should I Go? ~ Anthony B. Robinson

Stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.  From Luke 24:44-53

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke conclude in quite different ways. In Matthew the disciples are told, “Go and make disciples.” “Go.” In Luke, they are told to “stay,” sit tight, wait in Jerusalem, stay put until you hare clothed with power from on high. I don’t imagine that the band the Clash had the New Testament in mind when they sang, “Should I stay or should I go?” but they could have.

Generally, I am more of a Matthew type than a Luke type. I prefer to go, to get on with it, to move, to do, and to act. But there is a time for waiting. Waiting until the time is right. Waiting until some gift of power and grace, not our own, comes upon us to make it possible for us to do what cannot be done in our own strength.

“Stay” said Luke, wait. But it’s not just waiting. It’s waiting for the Spirit, for a power not our own to come upon us, to clothe us. There are things that need doing in this world that are beyond our ability to accomplish solely by our own effort. God’s word, God’s incursion, God’s Spirit are required. “Stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

PRAYER: Veni Sancte Spiritus: Come, Holy Spirit, come. Teach me to wait and to pray. To wit for you, to call upon you, to be clothed from on high. Amen

Taken from the United Church of Christ devotional, God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 233.

The Divine Time of "Not Yet"

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January 22, 2014

The Divine Time of “Not Yet.” ~~ Ron Burford

The God of glory appeared to our ancestor, Abraham…and said to him, “Leave your country and your relatives and go to the Land that I will show you.” From Acts 7:1-16

Is God still thinking? Does God Build the plane of life as we fly it? Is creation that dynamic? Does God give us only enough of a map for the next turn? Stressful, isn’t it?

Abraham left a secure life to answer God’s call, traveling into the unknown, trusting only in God. Is it any wonder the scriptures call Abraham “father of the faithful”?

The magnificence of God’s dreams becomes real as people whith courage and faith receive and reflect them. Had Abraham required more information before leaving home, the history recalled in Act 7 might have never happened.

Who knows what impact your words and actions today will have on the course of human history. God is still speaking, calling women, men, girls and boys into paths  God is still thinking of, still creating – based on the actions you take.

A minister tells the story of his call to ministry, saying that as a kid he was mostly bored in the church. He kept coming because one older woman had a gumdrop for him each Sunday. He became a great pastor. The woman with the weekly gumdrop had a hand in shaping God’s call.

PRAYER: Gracious God, help me listen for your call and respond today with openness, kindness, joy and excellence in matters great and small. Amen.

 

God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 24.

Just Believe

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January 12

Just Believe ~~ Christina Villa

Then one said, "I will surely return you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed herself, saying, "after I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?" The Lord said to Abraham, "why did Sarah laugh, and say, "I shall indeed very child, now that I am old?" Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son." From Genesis 18:1-14

Sarah laughs when she hears that she supposedly going to have a baby. She's old lady – – you can practically hear her muttering behind the door, "yeah, right."

So this makes me wonder: how often have you been told that you just have to have faith in order for things to work out? How many motivational speakers and inspirational books boiled down to just this: just believe fiercely enough that something will happen, and… It will happen or it you make it happen: just believe.

But not in this story. Sarah doesn't believe. And it happens anyway. It is, apparently, a miracle. It's hard to believe in miracles, which are examples of the power of God. It's easier to believe in the power of me. Certainly there are plenty of books and speakers telling me to. But the story says that, sometimes, what I believe or don't believe just doesn't matter. The story says that something good can happen even if I don't believe it will. Something great can happen even if I'm convinced it won't. And when it does I can say in all truthfulness, "thank God."

PRAYER: here are my hopes and dreams. Please watch over them. Amen.

God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 13-14.