The thing about São Paulo is that it never stops buzzing- people, music, street cafes, motorbikes…the pulse of the city is felt continuously. It’s admittedly something you have to “be there” to really experience. The people in this city work hard, and by “work hard” I mean, just like the city, the people themselves never seem to stand still.
So where do church and community life fit into our Four12 partner’s lives in Brazil amidst all this buzz? Right smack bam in the centre of it all! Yes you’d think that after working so hard, often 10 hour days amidst this ‘buzz’ they’d (understandably) lack bucket loads of enthusiasm to head straight from work to church gatherings or community groups (where eight thirty or even later evening starts are a norm) but the opposite is true, their enthusiasm is relentless, powerful and contagious!
As I sat in São Paulo with a local community group from one of our partnering churches (Estacao 337) during our last Four12 outreach, I couldn’t stop thanking God for the ‘strong muscle’ these saints bring to us as a network of partnering churches. One of greatest things I believe any of us can learn from their lives, and ultimately be challenged on as believers is “relentless zeal” for God and for each other.
Relentless zeal as seen in scripture as: “never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fervor serving the Lord. Romans 12:11
Enthusiasm to be participators in this momentary, precious “thing” we call life in Christ together, because the purpose of our life, and our Saviour, is so worth our zeal.
Zeal in season and out, after long work days, crazy traffic times, crammed bus rides…enthusiasm not just for life, but more importantly for life IN Christ together. Zeal in worshipping our King (whether you’re gathered around a single guitar in a crowded sitting room or filling up a conference hall with hundreds). Zeal for prayer, to prayer passionately and often. Zeal to linger together when we have the opportunity to hang out, to laugh much together, to never slip out a room unnoticed but stop and take a moment to hug and greet everyone before we leave. Enthusiasm to be participators in this momentary, precious “thing” we call life in Christ together, because the purpose of our life, and our Saviour, is so worth our zeal.
Isn’t God wonderful? For many reasons He is yes, but this most recent Four12 outreach to Brazil has me marveling at how wonderful He is that He knits us into family, across continents because He knows we need each other; to learn, to grow, to stretch, to be challenged and come into the more together with. So we as saints, leaders and partners in the gospel can more brilliantly represent a better picture of our Father God and the church as Jesus’ Bride. We can learn much from our Brazilian family’s intentional zeal to fellowship and live out Authentic Christianity, together! Let’s do it.
Header photo: The eldership team at Estacao 337, Four12 Partners in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juliet, also known as Jewels, is a member of the Four12 admin team. An 80’s baby she grew up in Cape Town as a ‘PK’ (pastor’s kid), the youngest of four children. Most days you’ll find her out running, hanging out with her family, enjoying a good cup of coffee or getting her thoughts on ‘paper’ blogging.
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