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Midweek Devotionals

Published weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Midweek Devotional 5/6/2015

Robert Chen

Dear Church,

My time here in London is nearing its end. I will soon speak with Luke Hellebronth, who wrote "Spirit Break Out," a song we sing pretty regularly. I'll gauge whether there's going to be any meaningful connection between Worship Central -- of which Luke, Tim Hughes and others are members -- and our worship people. I will then move to a meeting with Graham Tomlin, the Dean of St. Mellitus College, to see whether Leland and St. Mellitus can partner together to raise up leaders for the church and ministry outside the church.

It's fitting that I am sharing these items with you because the main theme of the entire Leadership Conference 2015 is Unity. Unity in the Church.

I've been terribly moved by different speakers and conversations with others this week connected to this theme.

The first day of the conference I was speaking with a church leader who told me that, in his estimation, the person who's had the profoundest impact on the English Anglican Church in the 20th century was John Wimber! John Wimber came to England quite a few times in the 1980's. He revolutionized people's views on the ministry of the Holy Spirit, with great theology and with a gentle, un-hyped approach that invited everyone's participation (and respected English spiritually polite sensibilities). This Anglican Church leader said so many Anglican leaders now 
in ministry actually came into their call/ministry because of Wimber's impact. The leader of the charismatic Vineyard movement from USA blessed a dying, tradition-bound church in the UK!

As you can gather from my 'dispatches' this week, I was blessed by many outstanding speakers and leaders, both in business and in the church.

But the one I was most blessed by was Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher to the Papal Household. You can see his interview on CBN done a year ago:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYz34v6zAbQ

To keep my comments brief, I was most touched by Fr. Cantalamessa's broad, generous embrace of all those who love Jesus. Alluding to St. Augustine's view of the church as a society united by the Holy Spirit, Fr. Cantalamessa urged us to take a qualitative leap forward from how we understand past conflicts and polemics to uniting together to preach the Good News (the Happy News) of Jesus with joy! The world does not see the Christian message as glad tidings. It misunderstands the message of Jesus, in part because we ourselves have not fully understood the radical message of Christianity: the message of Grace. The grace that's found in Jesus is great news all around. The wrath of God, the law of sin and death, and our state of alienation were all dealt with in the Cross of Christ. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).  We are called to proclaim this Good News together, in the power of the Holy Spirit!

Let's Embrace This Invitation to Work Together for the Proclamation of the Good News of Jesus! With Joy!

Blessings,

pjohn