Sunday, January 17, 2010


I love early Sunday mornings. Love the quiet of a sleeping city, periodically interrupted by the Sunday papers finding home from a speedy car that sends their message missiles onto sidewalks. A strong coffee married to a brief glance at the news and sports scores as well as the twitters of friends sends me diving into the biblical texts.

I love Sunday mornings. When M and I started leading our first church in 1983 I had recently come out of college, then the military, then school teaching. My natural propensity had been late to bed, late to rise. Then one morning, some years into that journey, I felt like the Lord arrest me. The rough and tumble of the turbulent South Africa had me in prayer for our community. Drawn to the text of John 10 where the shepherd opens the gates for the sheep, first thing in the morning, the Lord seemed to call me to a major change of metabolism. He wanted me to wake up early in the morning. He wanted me to open the gate to the city in the morning, for our businessmen and women as they entered into their place of work , praying for favor, blessing, opportunities. He wanted me to usher them, in prayer, into their daily world.

If that was the case, then I asked the Father not for it to be a war with the alarm clock, nor a legalistic checklist addition that would seek to beat me up to show me what a really bad pastor I was when I erred. Grace... that is what I asked for. That supernatural empowerment that would enable me to do the very thing that is so counter my natural bent. Grace, that remarkable balm of Gilead that would stir me into His presence in the mornings with joy and anticipation. Grace, that liquid fire that would find me loving leading His people into that catapulted missionary day, seeking to speak Jesus to a limping world. Grace, that God factor that would be our sufficiency for those places, people and positions that just don't seem to go away. Grace, that God presence that enables us to be administrators of divine wisdom and facilitators of supernatural power even in the corridors of their corporate calling.

I love Sunday mornings. What does the Father have for us today? What seemingly side God- word will catch a hurting ear and caress it to wholeness? What song will draw vulnerable disobeyers into his presence for such is this irresistible grace? Whose life will be changed? What gifts will operate to let someone know that He is there and He is not silent? What love will our "compelling community" give, that will offer hope to a devastated leader?

I love Sunday mornings. For me and my house-well, we will do as we have done for some twenty six years, we will take our place of leadership and usher the bride of the king into his presence with joy, honor, respect and affection. The Word will be celebrated. The worship will be loaded with majesty. The bride will be loved and led and we will sense His wonderful delight over it all.

I love Sunday mornings.

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