“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you;
Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” (Isaiah 26:8, NIV)
Among the many wonderful gifts that I received this holiday season was a “Wi-Fi Repeater and Range Extender.” Now for those of you who might be unfamiliar with this particular technological doo-dad, let me assure you that it performs a very helpful function. In a place where a wireless internet signal is somewhat weak (like my house), the “Wi-Fi Repeater and Range Extender” repeats and extends the range of that signal (Well, duh!)…so that internet users (like a pastor and his family) can surf the web, send email, and download silly games that allow them to avoid doing the things they probably ought to be doing.
While I suppose it could be argued that we’ve reached a very sad day indeed when someone feels a need to take something that is already unbelievably fast and convenient (especially when compared to the technology that was available just a few years ago) and make it even more so…I also think we could learn something from this useful little device. Because you see, I think that we are meant to be “Wi-Fi Repeaters and Range Extenders.” Or put a little more accurately, we are meant to be “God-Fi Repeaters and Ranger Extenders.”
Regardless of whether we are “connected” to it or not, God is always sending out a signal. It’s a signal of love and grace and hope. It’s a signal that brings blessing to the least of these. It’s a signal that overcomes even the deepest prejudices and divisions, by “reconciling them to God through the cross” (Ephesians 2:16). But sometimes, God’s signal doesn’t get through very well. Sometimes it gets blocked by hearts that have become callous to the needs of others. Sometimes it gets garbled by spirits that are distracted by other concerns. Sometimes God’s signal needs to be repeated and extended so that others can not only hear about but experience the freedom that it brings.
What would it look like for you to be a “repeater and range extender” of God’s kingdom signal in the year ahead? What would it require of us as a church to be an “amplifier” of the love and grace and hope that our Heavenly Father longs for all His children to experience? Thousands of years ago, the prophet Isaiah said, “Lord…Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” What might happen right here at Calvary Baptist if we could make that same statement and mean it with every fiber of our being?
As we journey through this New Year, I’ll be inviting our church family to give some attention to those questions. We’ll be trying to discern what God is saying to us – and what He’s inviting us to do – as we follow faithfully in the steps of our Savior Jesus. I hope you’ll respond to those invitations when they arrive. But even now, I hope that you’ll be looking for that signal. What is God saying to you? What part of His kingdom promise needs to be “repeated and extended” more faithfully in your life and in the life of our church family?
May God make this a truly Happy New Year – as we expand the embrace of His kingdom together.