Packaging the Spirit’s movement? It almost sounds sacrilegious to talk about packaging the Spirit’s movement, as if He is some kind of product to be wrapped up. But capturing what the Lord does without an accompanying mechanism to reveal and explain it to others tends to stop His intended momentum. In order to effectively tell His story, intentional efforts must be made to gather it into a powerful format for it to be shared. Capturing without packaging makes the capture a waste of time and resources. The marriage of the “capture” with the “package” highlights the glory of God.
Let’s go back again to the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan river in Joshua 4. God moved in miraculous ways by stopping the waters upstream for a safe and dry crossing for His people into the promised land. He then commanded them to go back into the river bottom to pull out 12 stones, one for each tribe. If those stones would have been collected but not arranged in any particular order, then the miracle would have ended with lives of those who lived it. Random stones laying along side the river tell no story. God ordered both the moment capture, “get the stones”, and the moment packaging, “arrange them into an altar”. It is as if the stones were empowered for Kingdom use in their packaging. When the Lord is at work in our midst we need to make every effort to record His work and assemble it in such a way that others can see it and be blessed.
Jesus’ institution of communion on the night of His arrest provides another insightful example. With so many things pulling at Him, He took the time, not only to have a last supper with His disciples, but to create a lasting supper with His followers for many generations. In capturing that moment He reveal His soon coming sacrifice to His disciples. In packaging the moment, He shared it with the Church as a way for us to connect with His sacrifice as we reflect on our own journey with Him. Two thousand years later we continue to be deeply moved by the bread and the wine. Just as He intended, His momentum continues.
In our places of work, school, or church the same principle’s apply. Focusing on capturing successes in the work place tends to motivate others. When our communicators package that success for a broader audience the impact is multiplied. Social media offers an abundance of opportunities for us to thrive as we message good work to others. Tree of Life is blessed with volunteers and staff who endeavor to capture every indication of the Lord’s work. Staff members have the packaging function as part of their job descriptions. All for the glory of God and the good of the school. Each member of the body of Christ has been individually pulled from the river bottom and set up as an altar for the glory of God. Our legacy, then, is as story tellers, people pointing the way to the goodness of God. He has packaged us together with others in the Body as a strength in His church and in His school.
As parents, we have responsibilities as “packagers” of God’s goodness in the lives our children. As we look for the Lord and find Him, we get to reveal His ongoing work in our own lives and highlight His work in our children’s lives. It is especially important to frequently show our children how we see the Lord at work in them. Whether it be the fruit of His Spirit or His heart for others or their obedience, take the time to tell them how they are reflecting Jesus. As they mature they will learn from us how to look for God in the day to day and how to share Him movement with others.
Todd R. Marrah, Ph.D