I like to think we are people living somewhere between Acts and Revelation. We are Easter people, after all. The entire body of Christ is part of this broad frame. Living in Acts has always seemed so natural, right up my spiritual alley - I recall many days throughout the last 35 years when, all of a sudden, something smells, tastes, feels like what I imagine it was like to live in Acts. My next thought tends to be - God, can't I be there now?
Yes. We can.
Just as our Easter fire tender did a great job keeping that flame going at sunrise, we can do the same in our relationship to the Spirit. First things first, my friend. Do that and the Spirit will do the rest.
Tend the fire. Offer yourself to Him. If the fire's out, start with kindling and pay attention to it. Blow on the flames if you must. Don't throw in a lot of garbage that's resistant to fire. That's sure to snuff it out for awhile - and you want that fire. When there's a slow, steady flame, let it get comfortable. It will move slowly and sink in. It will begin reaching for the deeper places and it can be left to hum along. The flame will burst ablaze from time to time, and then wane. This is the natural order. As long as it's burning, let it move as it will. That's what the Spirit does.
How we live contributes to how the spirit moves in our lives. Let your life speak with the passion it ignites. Don't push it under or let your mind convince you otherwise. If you're a woman, don't hesitate to speak. Speak. You are God's beautiful . You are half of human creation - a magnificent expression of the Divine.
Paul surely didn't mean to oppress half the human race in the centuries to follow either. Why would Paul or God do that? God would not.
Let the Spirit speak in your life. As Parker Palmer would say, "Let your life speak." When you give the Spirit its voice, it will open your life to speak in ways you can't imagine yet.
The movement of the Spirit must be given room to breathe. Allow it and trust God will speak to you in new ways. Ways that bring you alive with holy purpose.
Can't wait for the Sanctuary to be ablaze again!
Jeanne and Sue...are you game? :)