pastors pondering

When people talk about what happened after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, his ascension to the Father, and the start of ‘the early church’ they agree it all stared in Jerusalem. But defining the ‘it’ is more difficult. What began in Jerusalem? Some say Christianity but the word ‘Christian’ didn’t appear for decades so obviously those new believers didn’t think they were starting Christianity.  So what did those first believers think was starting?  In his book ‘Christianity in the Making’ James Dunn suggests the early believers saw themselves united because they called on the name of the Lord.  Calling on the name of the Lord is prayer language used throughout the Old and New Testaments.  What made these early believers stand out to everyone around them was that they called on the name of Jesus.  I was thinking how perfect it would be if we could known for that again. Imagine the scenario: ‘it all began at Christies Beach Baptist Church. What began you ask? The time when the community recognised a people of one faith because they all prayed together in the name of Jesus.’  Imagine being known in our community not because of a title that says ‘Christian’ and not because of a moral code of ethics or a system of beliefs but being known for praying, praying in the name of Jesus.  Bill (a member of CBBC) said that on Sunday during the worship all the words and phrases that said ‘I’ and spoke blessings over his life suddenly became a prayer to him and he began praying and declaring the truth of the worship songs over people who do not know the depth of the love of God. May we all have that same revelation. May we too become a people the world knows as people who pray in the name of Jesus.