Jesus Was Sent and so Are We
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses... (Acts 1:8)
Do you marvel this time of year, if not daily, that the Son of God came in the flesh? It is truly a mercy that God has sent the Son, but that wasn’t the only gift He gave. When Christ rose victorious, He sent the Spirit of Christ to those who believe. This gift was not one to hoard or merely contemplate, but a powerful gift that would continue the earthly mission of Christ to take up the work of seeking out the broken, wounded, festering, poor, captive sinners and telling them the good news that “Your God reigns,” (Isaiah 52:7).
In the power of the Holy Spirit, fifty plus from our Grace Church family were sent out into the Warrenville neighborhoods to sing the good news: Joy to the world, the Lord is come, and other messages of hope. Additionally, these neighbors were given gifts (cookies), and an invitation to join us for our Christmas concert. With all of our awkward, doubting thoughts, we knocked on doors trusting by faith that the Spirit would do the work that we could not--opening not only doors, but hearts, eyes, and ears.
Although I don’t know how many of these patient listeners came to the concert, I do know that the Spirit of Christ was at work that evening. When we rejoined the larger group at GCD for cookies, cocoa, and fellowship, we spent some time sharing stories of our adventures and God’s work before our eyes. There were many who welcomed and even joined us in the caroling. One woman related how she had just been listening to music and reminiscing about her deceased husband. She was feeling very down when the carolers came to the door, expressing the blessing and great joy it brought to her. At another home, a man answered the door in great amazement as he had just been praying that God would send help for his troubled son when the carolers knocked at the door. The team gathered around to intercede with God for him as he requested prayers. There are many other anecdotes that we shared before we ended our evening singing Silent Night.
The Carols and Cookies outreach is a reminder that the work Jesus began on earth has been passed on to us through the work of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus appeared to his disciples prior to his ascension, he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:21-22). Just as the Father sent the Son to be God in flesh, Jesus has sent us, his people in the power of the Holy Spirit to be his witnesses in Warrenville, DuPage County, Illinois, and beyond. Please pray with us that we, empowered by the Spirit of God, will bear much fruit for his kingdom and glory from this evening of proclaiming good news of great joy!