So, I've decided to resurrect something that I did in the early days of The River. When Sharon and I first started The River, each Monday I would write a blog of sorts, called “Monday Morning Musings”. I would publish it (not necessarily on Mondays) hoping that AS LEAST a few people would read it. In the early days I knew my audience was pretty limited. Regardless, it was meant to declare my heart with respect to church planting and ministering in Edmonton. Since, fifteen years later, I'm still hard at it, and there are things to say, I thought perhaps I should reboot “MMM”.
As well, Luke has been encouraging me to do something like this. He told me that I should be more “inspirational” rather than just “informational”, and since he’s a Millennial and reasonably smart, I thought I should listen to him.
By the way, I’m going to continue the 5 questions, but not over the summer. I know that most of you don’t meet as a group over the summer, so I’d be just talking to myself anyway. Five questions will return this Fall.
A few weeks ago, I found myself in Montreal at a Christian ministry called Mission Montreal. This is a thoughtful inner city ministry that reaches out to newcomers to Canada and the disenfranchised with all kinds of supports. As we were driving through the neighbourhoods in which Mission Montreal works, one thing that really stood out was all of the Catholic churches that were no longer in operation; once thriving spiritual communities, now abandoned buildings. Of course, there are reasons for the fall of the Catholic church in Quebec, not the least of which is the abuse of power by those who led the church in Quebec with has fostered a visceral hatred for the church on the part of many Quebecers.
None the less, as I looked out the bus window, I thought of how quickly the church across Canada has become irrelevant to most Canadians. What could turn the tide? I thought of some of our community initiatives like The Wellness Centre, our community gardens, the upcoming Canada Day celebration, our summer camps, our Social Justice event this Fall and our work with Syrian refugees. In a very real way, I was proud of all the things our church is doing.
But, at the same time, I realized that the only power big enough to re-energize the local church in Canada is God himself. We need a fresh out pouring of the Holy Spirit in Canada; call it a revival, call it a new Pentecost. The good news is that God is in the business of renewal. I thought of 2 Chronicles 7: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Since returning from Montreal, I have dedicated myself to praying a 2 Chronicles 7 prayer every morning. Please join me.