Chair Time Reflections - December 3, 2018

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Uncommong Gatherings

Posted by: Stephanie Smith
Sermon Text: Acts 9:32-Acts 11:18
Focal Verse:  While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. Acts 10:44
God has a clever way of bringing people together to spread the blessed news of the gospel. The unlikely meeting of Cornelius and Peter serves as an example of how God gathers his people together to pour out a message that simply amazes. Presumably, Peter expected to go to Cornelius in a teaching capacity, but it seems that he received just as much of an explanation about the gospel that day as did those he was addressing. What a sense of awe he must have felt when while he was still speaking he witnessed the Holy Spirit falling on the them (Acts 10:44), confirming that the gospel was meant for the Gentiles as well as the Jews! 
Both Cornelius and Peter received a preparatory word from God about their unlikely introduction to one another. Either of them would have been right to say the command to meet with the other made no sense. But Cornelius and Peter were quick to obey, having recognized and trusted that the message was from God. It’s in our chair time that we too might receive a word from God about someone(s) with which He wishes us to connect. Are you responding to His nudges? Are you gathering with other people (even unlikely choices) when He prods you to do so?  Of equal importance, when you do meet up with others are you expecting that you are there in a teaching capacity or a learning capacity? Lastly, are you anticipating and making room for the Holy Spirit to be an active participant in your encounters? 
Like Cornelius and Peter, we should be calling together our relatives, friends, brothers and sisters (Acts 10:24) and talking about the great news of Jesus Christ as often as we can. As we do so, whether as a body on Sunday morning, at a class or life-group, or perhaps over a meal with our neighbor, let’s gather with the mindset that God has a teaching about the gospel to share with us and through us.  Let’s watch for opportunities for both common and uncommon gatherings this week, show up for them, and expect our powerful Holy Spirit to pour out a teaching that amazes us. To God be the glory when we gather in His name. 
Scripture Meditations for this week:
Tuesday: Luke 19:1-10
Wednesday: Matthew 9:9-13
Thursday:  Luke 24:13-35
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