Friday, October 07, 2005

Thoughts for outreach

This morning I read a request for prayers from Lance here. I'm not sure if Lance and I are working off the same page, but I'm always ready to pray for the outreach of the Church, especially when people involved in that outreach feel beset by things going wrong.

I was puzzled by a few statements Lance made:

October, overall, is a highly spiritual month. Many religions have holy days in October. Oct. 4 marks the beginning of Islam’s Ramadan. The fourth and fifth mark the beginnings of the Feast of Trumpets as well as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The 13th is the Day of Atonement for the Jewish people, one of the highest of holy days. October 18th-26th is the Feast of Tabernacles. And then there is obviously the affects of Halloween. And, if you can call it a holy day, Reformation Day to the Protestants.

I believe that we, as Christians, are greatly affected by this principle that behind the scenes there is something strongly spiritual about this time of the year. I believe that Christians must understand this fact because this is going to be a time of strong spiritual opposition. It is as if the sphere between heaven and earth is lessoned in this season.

This focus on identifying spiritual months, as if other months were not spiritual or were less spiritual, seemed superstitious - almost like something I would expect to hear in New Age literature. Calendars made by human beings do not limit the power of God who created both time and eternity. Spirituality is not about a time of year but about God's work in our lives at all times.

On this dreadfully rainy day I remember God's promise in Isaiah 55:10-11 (New Revised Standard Verson):
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

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