Being Californians, the people of Felton Bible Church know something about earthquakes. They (we) know that most earthquakes subside (and blessedly so!). The ground shakes, and quivers, and rolls for a time, before returning to its “normal” state. That’s true of most earthquakes…but not all. One quake began approximately 2,000 years ago, and it’s only been gathering strength since the shaking started. In the day that Jesus died, Matthew 27 tells us the earth shook and the rocks were split (Matthew 27:51b). Of course, these were only two of the powerful signs that accompanied Jesus’ crucifixion, soon to be followed by his powerful resurrection. The earthquake that happened that spring day somewhere around A.D. 30 is still going strong…and stronger…and even stronger. It began in the literal earth and it transferred into the hearts of men and women the world over. The earthquake that happened when Jesus died proved a mere warning tremor for the globe-shaking wave that birthed Jesus’ church; a wave that continues to the moment in which I’m writing. We sometimes think of the church with a “ho-hum” perspective born of routine daily life. I assure you, God does not. The world is shaking at the hand of Christ as he works through his people!
Here then is a prayer for the people who gather in Jesus’ name as Felton Bible Church:
“Oh God who shakes the earth out of its place so that its pillars tremble, let the shaking that began at Jesus’ death overtake us! Shake us oh God. Grant that a ripple wave of divine seismic activity would find its way to the San Lorenzo Valley and ignite our hearts with the holy fear of joy in Jesus. Your voice shakes the wilderness, and we, Lord, are living in the wilderness. So, let it shake us! We need to be shaken oh Yahweh from our complacency, from our weariness, from our angst, from our habits of sin, from our inattentiveness, from our comfortable and yet unfruitful patterns of thinking and living. Permit that the cross would grow so enormous in our minds that it pushes out all lesser contemplations. Let the earth quake beneath our feet and bring with it the smell of Jerusalem – a waft of the old, and an overpowering scent of the new. Your angels cry out like an earthquake; let us hear their voice! You freed your servants Paul and Silas in a great earthquake. Free us! Our voice, our hearts, our expectations, and our prayers are turned to you. Will you now shake this place? Let the Spirit so move among us that the aftershocks reverberate for years to come. Oh Sovereign Lord of all Creation, shake us, the people of Felton Bible Church. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray…Amen.”
(Job 9:6, Psalm 29:8, Ezekiel 3:12-13, Acts 9:26)