Grateful for God’s Initiative

A personal reflection on fifty years of life together in covenant community which began in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA in 1970

When I was twenty years old, I began to attend a weekly charismatic prayer group meeting in 1969 in the basement of St. Mary’s Newman Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. When I was invited to be prayed with to be filled with the Holy Spirit, God allowed me to encounter Him in such a personal way that how I lived, thought and behaved was forever changed from that point forward.

Prior to this experience, although basically a good person, I was insecure, self-absorbed, and was on a path in pursuit of a life only for what I could get out of it for myself.

Meeting God the Father through Jesus enabled me to understand that my security is founded on God’s forever love for me, that imitating Jesus in living sacrificially for the good of others brings a certain peaceful satisfaction that I am doing the right things for the right reason, and that this earthly existence is merely the foretaste of heavenly joy because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Fortunately, being with other like-minded and Spirit-filled Christian believers was an opportunity readily at hand. In September of 1970 we each in turn made a public commitment to give our lives fully to the Lord and live as members in covenant Christian Community. Remaining in covenant Christian community since then has been a great source of encouragement and friendship.  Christian community provides strength and support for me to live as a sincere and vibrant Christian, and furnishes regular occasions for the deep communal prayer which first attracted me to Christian community as well as growth in the knowledge of God and His covenant Love.

In the many years that have followed, this conviction of the necessity of life together in Christian community has proved its worth, especially so in these tumultuous times.

Top photo credit: photo collage of community activities past and present, (c) 2020 Living Bulwark/The Sword of the Spirit

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