Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Revival or Resurrection?
Gather thousands of Christians together. Pack them into a stadium. Crank the amps up to eleven. Jump around. Raise your hands. Empty your pockets.
Bow your heads. Listen to the message.
The world is still the same.
You are still the same.
Is that Revival?
Revival, to me, isn’t about hype.
It’s about a handful of people whose hearts are sincerely burdened for the lost, who are desperate for more of Jesus and who cannot face another second of life-as-usual.
Those people aren’t waiting for a national conference.
They’re not interested in the mega church pastor’s new book.
They couldn’t care less about the worship band whose new album is on sale near the snack table.
They just want Jesus.
They are only interested in Jesus.
They want to know Jesus more.
They want to be like Jesus.
They want a heart like His.
They want to love the people Jesus loves.
They want to serve the people Jesus served.
They want to forgive the way Jesus forgave them.
They are moved by the things that move the heart of Jesus.
People like this open their arms to gay and transgender people.
Those profoundly touched by Jesus step outside and share their food with the poor.
They pray for the sick without stopping to pull out their iPhone so they can post it to YouTube later.
Revival? For me, that’s a word for a person whose heart is broken.
A person whose soul is ripped down the middle at the sight of all the suffering that surrounds them.
Revival is a word that calls attention to the reality that something that is dead needs to come alive again.
Maybe we don’t need another revival meeting. Maybe what we need is more like a resurrection.
Let me ask:
Doesn’t the world deserve a Church that does more than pack stadiums on the weekend?
Isn’t it more powerful and effective to wake up every morning and quietly, yet consistently, live out the commands of Jesus where we live and breathe?
To me, that is what revival really looks like.
It’s not hyped up.
It’s not up on the Jumbo-Tron.
It doesn’t have a soundtrack or an official t-shirt.
Revival is simply a group of people who are hungry for Jesus and moved by Jesus who are willing to go out and act like Jesus in a world that is desperate for Jesus, [even if they don’t know it yet].
I’m not saying it’s a sin to hold a big conference. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to support Christian ministries.
What I am saying is that Christianity in America seems to be hopelessly enamored with spectacle and addicted to events.
Instead of a conference that goes to eleven, I'd rather see a move of the Spirit that sends people out to hang with the zeroes.
I guess I’m just waiting for the big “Let’s Go and Do the Stuff Jesus Did” Conference,
where thousands of Christians spread out over the city
and break into groups of five or ten to visit children’s hospitals
and pray for cancer patients
and give hugs to the homeless
and reconcile with their gay brothers and sisters
and pray a sincere blessing for their President
and repent publicly from seeking to change the culture through political power
and maybe donate ten million dollars to feed the poor and house the mentally ill who sleep on our streets every night.
When I see that, I’ll call it revival.
Until then, I’m really not sure what to call it.