The Church is a People
Some things just stick with you--it doesn’t matter how many years pass or how your circumstances change. This week my memory kicked in with this song: “The church is a not a dwelling place, the church is a people.” I don’t recall who first taught me the words to the song I am the Church. It was, no doubt, a Sunday School teacher at Bellefontaine Methodist Church. That was a long time ago, but these words most likely settled on me this week because we are currently not physically gathering for worship. Right now we worship in ways unimaginable sixty years ago—in cars, by computer, by phone, in our
pajamas, at a distance. But the words to this song still ring true. We are still the Church even though we are not physically together. In fact, we have never stopped being the Church.
We will be gathering together in the sanctuary some day soon. Like most every other gathering place in our world, some of our practices will be different when we get together (hopefully pants will still be required!). The Leadership Board of Green Trails has organized a committee to work on the sanctuary’s re-opening. The committee consists of some members of the Leadership Board, UMCGTstaff, and your new pastor, Linda Settles. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Jeffrey Heyl at jeffrey @umcgt.org.
Although all of us have had to live with some restrictions, the purposes of God know no constraint and continue for good. Take some time to think about the story of Pentecost:
Acts 2:1-21 The Message (MSG)
A Sound Like a Strong Wind
2 1-4 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
5-11 There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?
Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs!
“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!”
12 Their heads were spinning; they couldn’t make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: “What’s going on here?”
13 Others joked, “They’re drunk on cheap wine.”
Peter Speaks Up
14-21 That’s when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: “Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. These people aren’t drunk as some of you suspect. They haven’t had time to get drunk—it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen:
“In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit On those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy. I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, Blood and fire and billowing smoke, the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, Before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous; And whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved.”
Your true friend,