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May 5 -- "Don't Let the World Put Out the Light"

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability …

All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy (Acts 2:1-4, 12-18).

Episcopalian priest Robert Capon named a great obstacle we face today as a people who believe in the dreams of Jesus: “We are in a war between dullness and astonishment. The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News of Jesus is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore, He changes them into nice people. If Christianity is simply about being nice, I’m not interested...The greatest enemy of Christianity may be people who say they believe in Jesus but who are no longer astonished and amazed.”

We have to understand that Jesus was put on a cross for a reason and the early church was persecuted for that same reason – they held a dream, a dream that the world could be lived a better way. The world considered this very dangerous. So, they killed Jesus, hoping to shut him up, and they did the same to those in the movement. But, it didn’t work. Why? Because the wonder of the Christian life was worth the danger. People followed the dream and stood up despite the dangers, because their hearts were on fire. They spoke the truth no matter what the consequences.

The church was a gathering of people who could never quite get over the grace of God; who after living in the wonder of Christ’s love, knew they COULD never go back to their former lives – the dream was too big, too wonderful and NO ONE was going to kill the dream, even if they killed the body.

Our society still works to kill the dream. A.W. Tozer preached years ago a truth we are seeing, “Culture is putting out the light in men and women’s souls.”

Somewhere along the way too many of us have had the childlike wonder, of God’s grace and way of joyous life, chased out of us. Culture and people tell us who we are and what we can really do and be; dream stealers.

Today, stand up and tell the “cultured” world that they are wrong about us and our dream.

~ Pastor Dan

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