So, there’s a strong sense that we’re swivelling in our own prophetic story. We’re hurling toward this Pentecost feeling as though we’re becoming stronger, more open, and more willing to take on responsibility for the hurting world around us. Change is in there air and we’re reshaping the way we tell our own story.
Where to from here then? How does any of this change our daily, weekly, monthly rhythms as a community?
Well, here are three ways as a starting point that I see we can lean into this newness moment;
1. A New Story Requires a New Outpouring
Whenever the Spirit brings a new calling to a person or community it brings with it a deep sense of insecurity and self-awareness.
If the many of us in our community are to move from identifying as exiles finding a home to wounded-healers building a new home for others, we’re going to need some divine grace to grow in the gifting we need to see it happen.
Pentecost is about God’s empowerment partnering with our intention.
We need a new outpouring of the Spirit to invite those we’re not connected with yet into our midst, and then we’ll need the Spirit’s gifting and power to give us the courage and strength to heal them in the way they need it most.
This is God’s work from beginning to end and we will need a newness of God to achieve it.
2. A New Story Requires A New Language
Psalm 107 has given us a language - this North, South, East and West in-gathering of our generation to the table of hospitality. We’ve leant into that language and given ourselves and each other space to heal.
Now, we’re leaning into the latter verses where we can “establish a city to dwell in” (107:36) and “sow fields, plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. [that] By his blessing they will multiply greatly” (107:38).
Not because we haven’t done it, but because we’re now identifying it with our collective calling, not jsut the calling of the minority.
This means each one of us needs to seek a Spirit-empowered-prayer-dependant trust in God to build this community right. It means we start to build a common language of building a home for others, for divine hospitality, for divine encounter and for healing.
The shape of our prayers can continue to turn outward as they already are, and Tables, CR and Gratis can be ever further engulfed into our collective spirituality, allowing them to take the lead in showing us how to reach out to our own worlds.
Every one of us is responsible for this journey of language discovery.
We’ll only discover it together.
3. A New Story Requires New Practices
Starting with prayer.
There can be no new outpouring of God’s empowerment and no new language without first discovering it in prayerful imagination. We are not inviting people to our table, but to God’s and to do that we must first practice the Spirit’s hospitality ourselves.
If there is some kind of cost to owning new space and becoming more responsible for the world around us it’s surely first discovered in prayer. Where we take on the longing for healing and freedom and love of the world around us, on our knees, in the quiet spaces we’d otherwise give to entertainment and self-satisfaction.
Prophetic words are a co-artistry with the Holy Spirit, and prayer is the palette we paint with.
But that’s not all we have. These prayers should lead us into new habits of invitation toward family, workmates, colleagues and acquaintances to our own dinner tables.
Our prayers empower our actions, they don’t replace them.
To sum it all up, what we need to become is a community seeking the Spirits empowering for the good of the world around us, discovering a new language for the house we’re building, and praying our guts off to see God’s kingdom come in our midst.
Changing our story and living into God’s invitation takes intention and grace. We need a new Pentecost moment with every new call God brings into our lives because it’s his kingdom-power that delivers the goods, not our own energy. But by leaning into the language of where we’re going and seeking God in urgent prayer, we can partner with the Spirit to bring about newness in our community and city.
What areas of your life do you feel you need a new outpouring of the Spirit to see breakthrough in?
What could it look like for you to partner more intentionally with God in those areas?
What rhythms or ministries within Central Vineyard are you passionate about seeing empowered?
What practices do you have in your life currently that remind and prompt you to pray for God’s outpouring into yourself and the work you’re doing in the kingdom?
Take a minute to ask the Spirit whom in your life he may want to invite to his table in this season?
We need your power, Father,
now as much as ever.
Only you can change our story,
empower our community life,
and form us into a people of loving-prayer.
Teach us how to participate in your holy invitation,
To the world and to each other,
That we may build the kingdom your way,
in your strength,
and in your tender love.