April 30, 2011

“I am the bridegroom’s friend. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” John 3:30

After a long, busy day preparing our house for the gathering, restocking the shelves from the work-week, washing clothes and weeding the vegetable garden I sat down with a huge steak and avocado burrito. “Oh, I am so hungry! I just noticed!” That felt like a metaphor for the unfolding of the Holy Spirit’s plan for gathering us unto himself last night.

In 1978 I sat down on the rug in the middle of the living room at Christian House and experienced the Presence of the Lord, heard His voice, was introduced and immersed in the loving leadership of the Holy Spirit through His body. The Spirit chose the songs and let each one know which should be sung. The Spirit led various ones of us to share from His Word the thoughts that He impressed upon our hearts. The Spirit fed and filled us.

Then, the time came for us to be moved to various other places for various other purposes and the way we gathered and experienced His Presence was overshadowed by the more traditional structure of the churches we joined. We sought after church communities where the Voice of God was clearly listened to and clearly obeyed. We started out within the traditional church with a sense of the Lord’s leadership.Slowly, after 30 years and hundreds of programs, initiatives, simulcasts, small groups and services the sense of the leadership of the Holy Spirit was lost under the “doing” of church.

Sitting last night in the Presence of Jesus, letting Him lead us, yielding to the Lord of Love- so real, so present, so patient-my soul heaved a huge sigh of relief. “I am so hungry!”

We sang the songs He chose. We spoke the words He led us to say. We were honest. We laughed. We cried. We prayed. We ate tacos. We loved each other in truth. And precious Maitel committed her life to Jesus Christ as Lord. What a gift to be witness to such a miracle!

I’d like to take this moment to officially un-cloathe myself from the position of Leader in the Church. Eric and I are happy to serve as nobodies helping other people grow closer to the Great I Am. If the years of preparation and study and licensing have been for any purpose other than to lay down at the feet of Jesus, opening a way for Him to take His rightful place among His people, I am glad for them. May He be honored!

The day He spoke to me about Simple Church He told me something else. He said, “Come home.” It is this journey we are on together, imperfect, sinful and struggling, that I am so deeply thankful to be on!

anne for eric and anne

“Take me back, dear Lord. Around and back.”

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