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I’ve seen revival…

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!

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4 comments on “I’ve seen revival…

  1. “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”

    Very true, Reed. I am doing my fourth Doctoral Course in a week, and have read all of Alan Hirsch’s books to prepare for it. He is well worth listening to carefully, particuarly in terms of the need for a missional heart for the poor. Have you heard of Partners in Hope in East Vancouver with Elsie Quick, which we help co-sponsor as one of our missionary outreaches? Bishop Malcolm Harding spent a week with us and PIHope, and raves about this outreach.

    • Yes this is a great ministry. I spent an afternoon with Elsie when she was in NB. The past two years we have had students intern with Partners. They have a great ministry!

  2. http://www.partnersinhope.ca/home
    MAY 2010
    Spring has sprung! We’ve had the blossoms. The leaves are coming out. The greens change from day to day and the trees fill out with wonderful new life. This is a time of year when the beauty in our city is unparalleled. At the same time, shelters close and a number of folks are homeless again. Students have the summer off and some of the affordable dental help isn’t available again until the fall. Changing seasons are always difficult for the vulnerable. We long to share both the beauty and the vulnerability and together find hope and help.

    At Partners in Hope we try to facilitate partnership in that journey. We’ve tried to fill this website with information that provides for practical needs of those feeling vulnerable and offer ways for all of us to learn and share together. If you or someone you love is in need, click on any of the coloured links below to check out our resources or contact our office for further information. Find out how to be a part of this work here or bring similar efforts to your community by clicking on Ways to Help.

    You or someone you love struggles with addiction: Resources.
    Support group meetings around the Lower Mainland: We have information about those meetings
    Shelter from the cold tonight?: Emergency Shelters
    Low-cost housing listings: Searchable housing database
    Affordable food for individuals and families:Ordering details and food package contents
    Volunteering: Ways to help here in Vancouver or in your own community
    Free or Low Cost Dental Help: Clinics contact details.
    Living in Squamish and wondering what’s available for you? Affordable food and other services at Mountain Valley Mission
    Living in Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast? A community meal and other services at Christ the Redeemer

    We’ve loaded this website with lots of helpful information for you as you take steps towards making important changes in your life. Browse around the site and anywhere you see a coloured link that interests you, click on it and you’re likely to find some helpful information or an encouraging story. Read the most up to date news on the blog (see PiH Community News blog on the lower right of this page). Elsie Quick explains more about Partners in Hope in the following video:

  3. Thanks Reed for the reminder. I need to reread Hirsch & Frost often. As I approach the Bishop regarding ordination I struggle to articulate what my role as a “missionary priest” might look like. You’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s all about allowing God to use us to stir parishioners to embrace and model their live from Jesus’s missional heart, and then to get out of the church and into the streets and walk it out!! Blessings brother!!

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