August 18, 2018
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up.The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
17. Bringing the Holy Spirit home. I believe Jesus intends his church to look a lot more like the scene at Simon’s home than the synagogue. The whole town didn’t gather at the synagogue. The whole town gathered at the door of Simon’s home. I don’t want to diminish the importance of church buildings where people gather, yet I do want to emphasize the importance of understanding our homes as places of “church” and to acknowledge our neighborhoods are filled with people who are sick, lonely, demon possessed and oppressed, depressed, anxious and otherwise “fine.” ;0) These people are far more likely to encounter Jesus in our homes than in our church buildings. It has been said you may be the only “Bible” some people ever read. It is also true that your home may be the only “church” some people will ever enter.
What would it mean for our homes to have the magnetic appeal of the presence of the Holy Spirit? Our friends, Jason and Melissa McAnally are planting a church in Nashville called, “Home Church.” Could it be the best of both worlds? Already they are beginning to live into their name.
18. Wherever the Holy Spirit is actively working– there you have the church. But it does not follow that just because we call what we are doing “church” it doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit is actively working there. I have a close friend who is a leader of a seminary in Russia. On one occasion he told me that if the Holy Spirit was not active in a local church community in Russia there was no way to get people to come. He said you could give away food and clothes and even money and still people wouldn’t come. However, he said, if the Holy Spirit was actively working in a local church community you couldn’t keep people away. He said they would fight their way in if necessary. That’s how I imagine the scene that evening at Simon’s home.
The same is true today. You don’t have to invite people to places where the Holy Spirit is actively at work. In fact, you can’t keep them away.
19. Getting the Holy Spirit out of the box of “church.” We are way too “in the box” when it comes to the Holy Spirit and the active work of Jesus Christ in the world. We tend to think it only really happens in church services. All the emphasis goes on getting the music right, cultivating the mood and feel of the room and preaching a message designed to evoke a response. What if the bigger possibilities lived around the places we spent our six days instead of so much focus on what happens during one hour a week? What if our homes became the primary locus of “church?” I don’t know about you, but I’m not actively praying for my neighbors and plotting ways I can do good for them. It just hasn’t occurred to me. It’s time to kindle the fire of the Holy Spirit in our homes.
What if our homes held the spiritual significance of the “burning bush;” on fire but not consumed—holy ground with a welcome mat? I’m feeling a family meeting coming on very soon about all this. And you?
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Break me out of the boxed in thinking of church as a building. Show me the possibilities of church as wherever two or three of your followers are together and kindling your presence. Jesus, be the Lord of my home in new ways, making it an irresistible place of your powerful love. Melt me. Mold me. Fill me. Use me. For the glory of your name, Jesus. Amen.
When and where is the last time you witnessed or experienced “church” beyond the building you call the church? What happened?
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For the Awakening,