How many sermons can you remember a month later? A year later? A decade later?
When we were in medical school, we were involved in a controversial church plant–the Christians at the hospital decided they were a church. Since they spent most of their time in the hospital and experienced great fellowship together, it was artificial to go to somewhere else on a Sunday morning for an hour. Many of the medical students, nurses, physical therapists, cleaning staff, even some doctors, came together as a church in the consultants' dining room. We were spoken against from some of the best pulpits in London! (How can a group of students start a church? Who is going to teach them, etc.) We were thrown out of the national organizing body for Christian student groups (although many of the leaders came to us privately and encouraged us to follow the Holy Spirit).
Together we were going through the book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah chapter 3 is one of those passages that most people skip. It lists all the people and the area of the wall that they were rebuilding. Basically it's a list of names, followed by which part of the wall they were responsible for. We debated leaving that chapter out and going on to the next one, but eventually decided to study it anyway. As we went through the passage, there was a mounting and almost palpable air of excitement. The Holy Spirit revealed clearly to each of us the truth that as everybody does their part, the Kingdom is built. Everybody is important within the body of Christ. Today we take that for granted, but it was revolutionary thinking to us in that fledgling church.
What is perhaps most remarkable is that I still remember that time clearly, even though it was decades ago! The Holy Spirit is indeed an amazing teacher, and even the way that we learned with everyone participating was a picture of the truths he was imparting.
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