I've been linking up to tons of sites lately and playing along with their memes, which is really fun, but I haven't given you a "Random Olivia" type post in a long time, so here goes:
I have noticed that though no human plans it, our Sunday School class and our sermon usually have a common theme. It doesn't matter how different the pastor/speakers are, they usually strike some common chord in my heart. This week's was Kingdom living. (Which is quite broad, I know. Probably every other pastor spoke about something like that this Sunday!)
Our pastor's scripture was part of 1 John 2 about how the antichrist will come but even now many antichrists have come. His point was that we get really hung up on the "the" and miss the "many" which is really more immediate and dangerous for us. We need to be aware that one of the most dangerous things for a Christian is the subtle influence of those around us who are not Spirit-led. AND the only thing that keeps us from being that kind of people is the Spirit in us.
A recurring theme for our pastor was "You should not idealize the church nor should you villanize it." When others look at the church and say, "Hypocrites!" they are absolutely right. And part of that is just because the time is late and we are nearing when Jesus will come again! It's right there in the Scripture: the closer we get to Christ's coming again, the more the church will be filled with those who say they are Christians but who are not.
And then on to Sunday School. The speaker there was talking about our individual and corporate calling to evangelize. If we are those who have the Spirit within us, we are called to live a Kingdom life of evangelism. We are to evangelize in word and deed, in promise and demand, and in body and soul. "We are (as Eric Liddell said) all missionaries. Wherever we go we either draw people nearer to Christ or repel them away from Christ."There is a world in need out there and the church is the one to bring them the help. Only Christ can heal!
So is that random enough for you? I guess to bring this all meaning, I should tell you how these thoughts are meshing in to my daily life.
The very main thing that I need to remember, to walk, to breathe, is that without the Spirit, I know nothing. I cannot help anyone (really) and I cannot understand Scripture. This is a humility thing, but it is also an encouragement because the opposite is true. I DO have the Spirit in me, so I CAN help and know! And I can shout it from the rooftops without any pride at all. (If I truly understood this I could!) This is the true way to draw people to Christ--to understand this kind of humility, this kind of boldness.