MOTC?

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

20170429-DSC06340

The stamen of this day lily seem to reach toward God in praise. Photo taken in my back yard – April 2017

For a period of time many years ago, and as our boys were in middle school and junior high, we were members of a country club. It was quite the bargain for a family of 6, with free tennis and swimming, and golf for me and one of our sons who liked the game – all at a cost of $75 per month. That affordable fee structure did not, however, prevent one of the members to make a big deal of being a MOTC (member of the club). If you were, you were something. If not, you had no standing in this particular man’s mind. He would even ask, “MOTC?” When I figured it out, I was happy say that I was. I gained instant credibility.

But such an attitude has no place in the church. In fact the church is the least likely to be a place where one has to be a MOTC in order to have standing, to receive the gifts of God, or participate in the life of the church – or at least it should be. Paul even makes a point of this, saying, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…” (1 Corinthians 1:26-27).

If anything, it seems you have to be willing to disconnect yourself from any self-recommendations if you are to be part of the body of Christ. This is a self-leveling fellowship; none has a higher rank or right, or a deeper connection with God based on anything they have done or who they are. Jesus’ entire ministry was punctuated regularly with connections to the poor, sinners, prostitutes, and outcasts, bestowing on them his blessing of grace, love, healing, and hope.

Peter is making this same point when he speaks of the breadth of the Holy Spirit’s work. Young men, old women, sons and daughters, male and female all were promised to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And then the kicker: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God has no interest in people’s club membership. He doesn’t care if you or I are MOTC’s. He desires that we worry less about our status as members of some club – no matter how good the deal is or important their values are. In the realm of God’s grace and love we all receive the same treatment. And to top it off, we have a message to share with one and all, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” What a great blessing to claim!

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