søndag 10. juli 2016

Who is the sender?

Most people who have been sent out in the Lord’s mission, experience the strength of having a “sender-church”. In many the denominations in the ecumenical community, it is a prerequisite for both spiritual, practical and financial support, that a sender-church is identified before the start of the mission. How does all this fit in with the following verse?
“The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God…”
Acts 13:4-5a
Yesterday I looked at how the church had a very distinct role with regard to confirming the Holy Spirit’s calling of Barnabas and Paul. But was the church the sender?

The Holy Spirit is community (1). The church is a result of the Holy Spirit and cannot exist without him. If the Holy Spirit is not in the church, it is not a church any more, it is just a group of people coming together to conduct religious rituals. I am concerned that it is often so hard to see the difference. Because it is easy to pretend to be church. But real life can never be played as an act. Real life smells. The Holy Spirit is the giver and the sustainer of life. The Holy Spirit is in the real church, but even so, it will be incorrect to say that the church equals the Holy Spirit. 

At the same time the book of Acts confirms the obvious connection between the church and the Holy Spirit. It is obvious in the passage I am reading just now, and we see it in the consciousness of the first church in expressions like: “The Holy Spirit and we have decided!” (2)

The proclamation of the word (see today’s verse above), has a strengthened credibility when it has the authority of both from the Holy Spirit and the church. The one confirms the other. If not both are the “sender”, it will soon be a very lonesome mission. 

‘Manna’ for today:

The Holy Spirit and the church's confirmation must be reciprocal. 
(1) Confirmation of the call
(2) See: A new consciousness

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