Monday, August 31, 2009

Pastoral call

Today’s Reading: Acts 5:12-13 (NIV)

12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.

Good morning!

When my mother told me that our pastor would visit us in our home, it was a huge deal! My sister and I had to go wash up and put on our Sunday best. That meant, of course, we had to put on our freshly pressed dresses, panty hose without holes and our shiny black patent shoes. Fortunately, Mother didn’t make us put on our hats and gloves. I was personally relieved. The house had been cleaned from stem to stern. There was not a speck of dust anywhere - it was kind of like living in Mayberry. Mother baked a warm apple crisp to serve the pastor as he visited with our family about becoming members of the church. My mother did a good job of convincing him that we were membership material. Most pastors love to take in good cooks because they know a Sunday dinner invitation is just around the corner. There is something really special about a pastoral call that made you want to get out there and trim the hedges, sweep the sidewalks and wash the windows. Funny, now that I’ve lived in a parsonage married to a pastor for over thirty years, I find extreme motivation to deep clean when I know our trustees are coming for a house tour and visit. As a matter of fact, I’m baking the dessert I will serve to my special guests tonight!

Don’t you wonder what the Apostles talked about when they gathered at Solomon’s Colonnade? The people had seen their miraculous works throughout the city; they had heard about the fate of Ananias and Sapphira, knowing that the men saw right through their lie. The Apostles were hated by the Romans and the Jews. The people were awestruck and afraid – afraid to get too close for fear that the secrets of their hearts might be revealed; fear of being killed because they were associated with these men; fear of not knowing what it was that made them so very different in the way they chose to order their lives.

Last night, I listened intently to a conversation held in my living room, as my husband spoke to several of our college students about Christian disciplines and the living examples set by the Apostles. I was caught up in the conversation, and watched with great intrigue as they searched Scripture for a specific passage about Simon Peter. Every time I think about the lives of the men and women who walked with the Lord in the flesh, I feel I’m inching just a little bit closer to the steps of Solomon’s Colonnade; longing to glimpse the holy glow of the ones whose lives have been transformed by the hand of our Savior. It is that same holy glow I see on the faces of my pastors, teachers, and Christian friends, who are daily ordering their lives after the example of Jesus Christ.

The Apostles, great men and women of the faith, were human beings with human flaws, just like you and me. We tend to place our pastors on pedestals, expecting perfection 100% of the time. When they fail us, we wonder how that can possibly happen. Yet, it is through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit that we see amazing transformation in the men and women who walk with Jesus daily. The most incredible miracles performed were not the healing of the ill, but what had actually happened in the disciples’ own hearts, from daily walking with the Lord. It is their stories that captivate us so, for we know that if Jesus could change them, there is hope for you and me at the foot of the cross.

May you experience the transforming power of Jesus Christ today, as He cleans out the cobwebs of your heart. When Jesus knocks, will you be ready to greet Him?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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