I want to comment on the power of ‘Yes’. But first, I have a confession to make:
Last week it fell to me to ‘lead’ the morning worship here at Cairns where I am one of the leadership team.
Now, some people in the church have been following ‘40 Acts’ – http://www.40acts.org.uk/ – which encourages 40 days of generosity during Lent and offers daily suggestions of things to do. It has caught the imagination of the church and had resulted in wonderful stories of grace being shared during our Sunday morning gatherings. However, I was concerned in advance that there may be too many dissimilar contributions to the service which would conflict with each other or muddle the flow of worship.
So in my wisdom (ironic) I decided to leave this out of the Service and made a phone call to cancel the testimony.
That phone call ranks among my worst ever attempts at Leadership. For, although I wanted the item to be dropped I didn’t have the courage to say so directly. I fluffed around the edges of what I really wanted to say; and in the middle began to feel guilty that maybe this wasn’t singing the same hymn as Jesus in any case. I ‘got my way’; but that’s all.
Today, I discover the Bible has a word for this. The word (ἐλαφρίᾳ) is found in 2 Corinthians 1:17. The New RSV translates it as ‘vacillation’; though the original also implies any of the following: lightness, fickleness, irresponsibility. At the end of the verse Paul decries ‘ordinary human standards in which people are ‘ready to say “Yes, Yes” and “No, No” at the same time’. On this occasion I hold up my hand. I do repent. And I did ask God to act as Saviour and put wrong things right.
He did! For the Holy Spirit prompted a Music Leader to testify about a video on the ‘40 Acts’ web site. What he said was so appropriate to the morning and so aligned to the message of our visiting Speaker that it was awesome. It was a gift of God to everyone present. And, in spite of me, God’s will was done.
In the opening passage of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he has much to say about ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. He tells us that ‘in (Jesus Christ) every one of God’s promises is a “Yes”. For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen,” to the glory of God’ 2 Cor 1:20. The ‘Yes’ of God is a definite, solid, inviolable certainty. When God says ‘Yes’ demons tremble, gainsayers are humbled and the will of God is guaranteed; and, I discover, forgiveness is apportioned and joy renewed.