The human tendency is to make a ritual of everything. That’s okay, but it sure seems like the spontaneity factor in the work of God is over-harnessed in the rituals of humans. A good example is baptism.

Did you ever wonder when the Apostle Paul was baptized? Actually, he was baptized as Saul. (I wonder if, later, someone had to issue him a new certificate with his name change to Paul?)

Probably not because it doesn’t look like they had certificates. There’s nothing bad about certificates, but, did you ever wonder if we overplay the ritual, over institutionalize the simple, raw power of God by overemphasizing the institutional angles?

In a movement like Christianity, there is a lot of spontaneity. In other words, a movement moves.

Ananias followed orders from the Master to go see blinded Saul, and, it wasn’t long at all before he just said, “The Master sent me, so you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Saul was healed, stood up, and was baptized (Acts 9:17-19).

Have we over organized the movement into a program? When Christianity grows rapidly, some people call it a revival. In revival, the movement moves out of human control. It is a spontaneous combustion of Holy Spirit fuel that puts tongues of fire on people’s heads and ignites masses of people to repent and believe.

Have we chained the Spirit to a building where mostly Christians gather? Do we focus on taking people to church or taking church to people? Perhaps the Christian movement works best when it is out of control—humanly speaking. Maybe we need, more often, to let go and let God, and let the movement loose, under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Should we focus more on letting God out of the building? Can we say, after worship, “Jesus has just left the building”?

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