Monday, August 7, 2017

Acts 23:23-31

Acts 23:23-31
English Standard Version (ESV)

  I bet Paul never thought he would end up here.  For so long, he was a Pharisee, caught up in the church world, passionately defending the church and what he thought to be the truth at the time.  Then God intervened, and suddenly his world became much larger, and his vision was expanded.  His mission became about the whole world, God changed his life and elevated his eyes from the path he had been walking to one that was vastly different from what he thought he understood his mission and purpose was about.
  And so it comes to us.  We get caught up in our lives, and so often our vision shrinks, to the point that we're only focused on the problems before us, just trying to eke by.  What prayer does, I believe, is help reset our vision, so that we're no longer laser focused on our own problems, but we lift our eyes to the world around us, and to God's greater call on our lives.  When we spend enough time in prayer (often decades!), God continues to expand our vision so that we, too, see our mission as much bigger.  Our world expands, and the church in China and Cambodia and in different neighborhoods around town becomes part of our church.  We are connected in Christ, and we are responsible to one another.  What we thought wasn't part of us is now suddenly beloved by us.
  So let us pray for broader vision, and when it comes, may we recognize that it is only by God's hand that we love and serve one another.

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