So I kneel
At the bright edge of the garden
At the golden edge of dawn
At the glowing edge of spring
When the winter's edge is gone
And I can see the color green
I can hear the sower's song…
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been singing the above verse from Andrew Peterson’s “The Sower’s Song” as I think about God’s future for Immanuel. The sense of anticipation – that something new is growing, something new is awakening – is heightened by the hope that the pandemic is ending, and opportunities for connecting with each other and our community are emerging. Woven into that anticipation is the fulfilled promise of Pentecost, Jesus giving us the Holy Spirit to enable us to be his Father’s people, serving each other and furthering his reconciling mission in the world.
It’s that need for the Holy Spirit that is echoing in me in this particular Season after Pentecost, what we sometimes call “Ordinary Time.” I am confident a season of growth is ahead of us, beginning as soon as September. I am also confident that apart from the Holy Spirit filling us anew, that growth will remain buried potential. Like a seed in the garden.
In Scripture and in history, fresh moves of the Spirit are always preceded by prayer. Rather strange, isn’t it? That our God often waits on us to wait on him. Yahweh is unyielding in forming in us the understanding that we are utterly dependent on him, and in teaching us to see how he is already at work in the world. God created us to live in response to him, to be like Jesus: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (John 5:19).
A friend and fellow pastor recently called on his congregation to become “Ordinary Pentecostals”:
We join the slow march of God & are quick to bear witness to his goodness. We believe in God’s
intervention through natural & supernatural means. That’s the Pentecostal life. As we emerge
from the long difficult season of Covid-tide, and enter Ordinary Time, we make our Pentecostal
appeal, “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.” (Read more from the Rev. Cliff Warner here.)
I ask you to join me this summer in praying for Immanuel, for our neighborhoods, and for our nation, in preparation for what the Lord wants to do in and through us this fall and beyond. Let’s kneel together at the edge of the garden, ordinary Pentecostals who know “only God gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
Your Pastor in Christ,
P.S. As you read below for more news on Immanuel’s life together, take note that there’s an update on our Mission Outpost’s forward movement!