Ever heard the Greek word "egeneto" before? I hadn't until I found an old sermon from years ago, that I downloaded to my computer. Another sermon talked of "punching holes in the darkness." Those are the two things I'd like to share this week.
Egeneto means "it happens." And the way it was used in the sermon was about the story of Saul, the biggest persecutor of early Christians becoming Paul, one of the most influential Christians of all time. Saul/Paul had an "egeneto" moment in his life. God stepped in to transform the man. Many people don't think this type of thing happens in present time or ever happened. But if you've read my blogs over the last few months, I believe they happen all the time either directly by God's spirit "talking" to you (as happened to me at the lowest point ever in my life last October as I barely could see from the tears streaming down my face as I drove to school, I "heard" Him say "I'm going to pluck you out of this hell hole to show you my power and be a witness), through people or through crazy good, unexplainable events that have no other reason to happen. Do you believe? I never did before, with my semi-faith, but now do with my 85% faith. How can I not with the events that have happened for me. FAITH, that's it.
And that brings me to "punching holes in the darkness" from another sermon. In that sermon, the pastor talks about people constantly punching holes in the darkness of our world. Examples are people who race into the damage done by bombs exploding in Boston during the end of marathon a few years ago, or athletes giving up their chance at glory to help a fallen competitor, or even something locally like a prayer meeting of all colors the night after the violence in Milwaukee a couple of weeks ago, which I was a part of. Now, I don't know how much the prayer actually helped, but I know it brought many different people together, and you should have seen the camaraderie of the people who showed up. There were people of different colors and even different faiths holding hands, or putting hands on other people's shoulders as we prayed and talked. Actually when a friend told me about the meeting, I was a little hesitant to go, but since I've been having so many God moments, I figured I might as well go. Even in the midst of possible trouble that night, I felt totally safe. That is punching holes in the darkness, however small.
This week, I HAD to let go of something very personal and what I falsely thought was crucial to my life. In the same punching holes sermon, the pastor talked about asking God in prayers for help, but then how we also have to help those prayers work to transform ourselves or the circumstances, by some work ourselves. That makes sense - punching our own holes in the darkness, or friends of ours punching holes in the darkness to help us. That's what I've experienced from prayers, texts, talks, hugs, or phone calls from others this week. And also from taking the focus off of me to others, be it my students, friends or even strangers.
That's how I experience egeneto overlapping with punching holes in the darkness. Let's believe in both and help them happen through prayer and action. Just this morning I remembered the Bible verse Matthew 17:20: He replied, "...Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." That's what I'm believing at this very moment to punch a hole in the darkness of my memories, tough feelings and view of the world. I hope this helps you believe in egeneto and the experience of punching holes in the darkness.
Below is the sunset the night of the prayer meeting. And here's a classic song to get all of us going.
Blessings to all. XO