Keeping time or making time?
By Bob Phillips
Actually there was no General Conference on Sunday. It was the one "free" day in the process.
At 11:30 a.m., I joined others in Pentecost worship led by the combined African delegation. It was the most uplifting and Spirit-filled service I have known, all 2.5 hours of it (and those who know me realize that for me the Holy Spirit packs his bad, flips off the light and leaves the room promptly at 60 minutes). Not today...the Holy Spirit was on high octane and the singing, prayers, sermon and sense of connection was powerful. As to the time, one of the African bishops stood up at the end and apologized to the African members for such a short service! As he then gently said to the Anglo types in the room: You keep time but we make time. Oh yes.
I have noticed, sadly, that much of the press and media coverage predictably dwells on issues of sexuality. Often the spin places the church in a light of coming across as bigoted, stupid, 'merciless,' on the wrong side of history, and other joyous thoughts. When you read or hear such things, please remember that the central mission of the church, to glorify God and to bring people to Jesus, isn't cool and doesn't sell bandwidth. Stuff happening that moves us toward that end will not make the headlines. Trust me...the delegates are not always thinking about sex. Not even most of the time. There is a healthy focus on reclaiming that central mission of making disciples. There is a collegial and kind spirit even amid disagreements about a variety of issues, not just issues of sex.
Monday the plenary session resumes. The fruit of petitions passed and declined will be brought to the floor. Please continue in prayer, that God is honored in all that happens and in at least most of what is said!