Unexpected. Scripture, reflection and prayer.
"John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward." NRSV
"John spoke up, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn’t in our group.”
Jesus wasn’t pleased. “Don’t stop him. No one can use my name to do something good and powerful, and in the next breath slam me. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally. Why, anyone by just giving you a cup of water in my name is on our side. Count on it that God will notice." The Message
Reflection. Sometimes we can think that the church is smaller than it really is. Sometimes we can feel that everyone around us is against us. Sometimes we discover just how wrong is such thinking. Sometimes we see someone, whom we did not know was an ally, doing Kingdom stuff.
What might we do when that happens? A former Archbishop of Canterbury wisely said that Christians should see where God is working and go and join in. There will some amazing Kingdom work ongoing in all our local communities. Why not seek it out and then go and join in. Be salt and light. Give the work an authentic Christian flavour.
The disciples sought to stop Kingdom work. Jesus understood differently. People serving people are on our side and will not be so swift to reject Christ. Such people are our allies in serving the community. And, when they help us, because we are Christians, God notices....
Prayer. Lord Jesus, give us your eyes and your wisdom to see you at work in surprising places. Give us, please, the courage to join in. For your glory. Amen.