Oops! I keep missing my own deadline! Last week I got to witness a great example of a community in mission. A friend of mine, Keith, pastors a church which is about 45 minutes from Saint John, in Penfield. He tells me that God is on the move in his congregation. The prayer meetings are exciting and he is experiencing a special anointing in preaching and people in the community are starting to be drawn in. I am reminded of a story of John Wesley who told people his secret was to be set afire by the Holy Spirit and then people would come to watch him burn. It is exciting to hear of a Church being so blessed by God’s Spirit but what really thrilled me was to see some 25 people from there come to Up Town and put on a delicious meal for our drop in crown (60 -70 people last week). Folks sat down and engaged our friends in conversation and the music group played. At first they played worship songs and people enjoyed that but when they expanded into ‘The Monkees’ and ‘CCR’, things really took off. Joy filled the place. People clapped and sang along some brave souls ventured up to sing with the group. People left fed in body, soul and spirit. To me this is the real fruit of revival. I suspect God is blessing my friends church so that it can be a blessing in the community and beyond! I must admit I am little sick of revival and renewal movements that reflect a consumerist “more for me and mine” attitude. This reflects a church which is infected with the culture of our times. True revival must reflect the heart of God which we see in the life of Jesus who came “to bring good news to the poor … proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go and to declare the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18 – 19). It is this Spirit which is designed to go out and infect the world.
I suspect that if you want to experience true revival, whether corporate or personal, it is most likely to be found in the company of the poor. Jesus says when you do it to the least of these my brothers, you do it unto me. Sometimes we think that means that when we feed cloth or visit someone it is like doing it to Jesus, and that is true but more profoundly, when we meet the hungry, the broken then we meet Jesus. That is where He hung out in his earthly walk and that is where His Body ought to be today!