This week, Dana Baker, Pastor of the new Grace Chapel East Lexington Campus shares how God spoke to her through a unique experience during 10 Days Boston. Her insights are truly something we all can learn from.
How is it possible for someone to attend something for several years and miss one of the most important things that is being said? This is where I found myself during the most recent 10 Days Boston.
As Jonathan Friz shared his vision during the Northern Suburbs gathering at Mt. Hope Christian Center in Burlington, I heard him say something that I wasn’t sure I had ever hear him say before. He said that one of the things that God said to him in his original vision for 10 Days was, “What would it look like if everyone that was part of a church in Boston, stopped what they were doing for 10 Days, and just came together in prayer and worship?”
But God took that word that night and turned it towards me and asked, “What would it look like if you stopped your normal routines for 10 Days, and joined with others in prayer and worship?” I had always thought that I had participated at a pretty deep level for the past several years, attending multiple evening gatherings, but I have never “stopped” for the 10 days.
I had been a little less involved this year, because of the Grand Opening of Grace Chapel East Lexington where I am the campus pastor. The Grand Opening was on the Sunday right in the middle of 10 Days – September 28th – one of four churches with grand openings that weekend. I remember thinking that perhaps God was stirring in a unique way this year, and I was touched to be leading one of those churches.
Even though I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the details that the Grand Opening entailed, I led one of the prayer segments – “Discerning Brokenness” – at the Northern Suburbs Gathering. I didn’t real feel I had the time, but God had confirmed through several people that I was supposed to say “yes”, even though I had tried to say “no”, several times.
In the week following the Grand Opening, I had signed up to lead one of the morning prayer sessions, thinking I would have more time. But when it came to that morning, I woke up wondering, “Why did I say yes to this?” It was cold, rainy, and the prayer was scheduled to be outside. I kept thinking about all of the follow-up that I had to do. Even Kelly was tired and not sure whether she would go. But despite our feelings, we went anyways.
When we arrived to the nearby church office, it was filled with flowers – centerpieces of beautiful white peonies to be used at a banquet that evening. They were scheduled to be moved right in the middle of the time we wanted to pray. So I offered to stop what we were doing and help move the flowers to the vans when it was time. Sure enough, about thirty minutes later, they were ready for our help. By that point we were deep in prayer, and it felt extremely inconvenient for us to stop what we were doing. I wondered why I had been so quick to offer – but because we had said we would, we went.
As the six of us were carrying the flowers up the stairs from the basement to the vans waiting along the curb outside, the fragrance of the flowers overwhelmed me and I heard in my spirit – “Are you willing to be interrupted to serve one another? If you are, you will be the fragrance of Christ to those that you serve.”
I felt that God was saying that to all of us – and then I remembered Jonathan’s words. I spoke with Jonathan a week or so later and asked, “Have you always shared that part of the vison?” And he said that he had, but I was not the first to miss those words. In fact, one of his discouragements in the early days was that so few people did stop for 10 Days. But God kept telling him to not worry about the response, simply share the vision, and trust God to touch hearts.
God continued to press home this question when I received an e-mail a few days later from the Glory of God in New England – an e-mail about revival. This person said, “An evangelistic campaign or special meeting is not revival. In a successful evangelistic campaign or crusade, there will be hundreds or even thousands of people making decisions for Jesus Christ, but the community remains untouched, and the churches continue much the same as before the outreach. However, in revival, God moves in the district. Suddenly, the community becomes God-conscious. The Spirit of God grips men and women in such a way that even work is given up as people give themselves to waiting upon God.”…even work is given up as people give themselves to waiting upon God…
So I shared with many others since then the question I heard that day in Cambridge as I moved beautiful centerpieces of white flowers for a pastor I had never met before, for an event I would not attend.
Are we willing to be interrupted? And, are you willing to be interrupted?
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (Message)