When I light my candle next Saturday and pray in vigil for the coming “child” that is our new congregation in Northwest Philly, I will remember this truth from James:
All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change. By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Julie and Jerome realize more every day, from what I hear, that it will be a generous God who lights up the Northwest some more through this new expression of his love—the congregation they are forming! It won’t be them—although, I must say, they are shining as best they can! They have some great stories about circumstances when they meet a new person and it feels like a “divine appointment.”
When I light my candle and share one, last symbolic “labor” with our brave church planters, I will be happy to think of them and what they are doing as “a kind of firstfruits of all” Jesus has created. He gave his followers birth and he is giving the people of the world birth through the message we carry. No matter how many cells we multiply or congregations we form, it is exciting to be born again.