I trust you’re off to a great week!
For the past two Sundays we’ve been looking at Ezekiel 37 and the Valley of Dry Bones. This vision was a word of hope to Israel 600–700 years before Christ, but is also an unfortunate picture of the Church presently. My title was simply Come Together and verse 2 explains why:
“They (the dry bones) were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out.”
When Ezekiel prophesied to the dry, scattered bones the first response was that they “came together” and “attached themselves” to the right skeleton and in the anatomically correct location. Once fully revived, ‘they stood up on their feet – a great army.’
For years the Pacific Northwest has been identified as the least ‘churched’ region in America with about 4-5% who actively participate in the life of a local church. (Southeast region is about 40 %). Low numbers all around with the average church-going Christian attending 1.4 times a month. Acts 1-2 are what we refer to as ECF’s North Star Bible passages. There are historical and cultural things to be considered, but the book of Acts provides a blue print for a 21st century, Acts 2 Church. These passages reveal a historical model based on timeless principles. One that stands out to me is the opening verse of chapter 2.
Acts 2:1 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place……42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer…. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had….46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. NLT
Notice any recurring theme?
2:1 …‘and all the believers were meeting together in one place’.
44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had….
46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper,
A few thoughts:
- As I read these chapters I think I’m on solid ground by assuming that these newly Spirit-filled students of Jesus were Busy with a capital B! Read verse 42-47 again. That’s a full day, every day! Yet the number one reason people are unable to immerse themselves into the life of a church is they’re so busy and, consequently, tired and, consequently, unable to serve etc.
- This wonderful promise of hope and restoration ends with an interesting twist. This restoration is not only an expression of God’s kindness and grace toward Israel, but to a defined relationship. Neither Israel, nor you or I, have been rescued to return, to a new life of our choosing. As with Father Abraham, we’ve been blessed to be a blessing to all the families of the earth!
- Regardless of what other mind blowing events occurred on the Day of Pentecost, it would have been pointless if no one was there to witness and partake of this world-changing gift. The simple habit of making church attendance a way of life is a life-changing, and possibly a life-saving decision for you and your family.
Acts 2:1 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place…”
Blessings and looking forward to being together!