17. In those days, God says I will pour out my spirit on all people.
Odd events! Unusual times!
I was brought up with stories of “Revival” ... a mass Religious awakening!
Ulster 1859 ... Wales 1904, Isle of Lewis 1949 .. Scotland 2020? ... well not quite yet!
I recently had the privilege of talking to a wonderful older lady from the Isle of Lewis. One of those conversations that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up (that’s pretty much the only place I still have them!).
She recalled her father in 1949 getting them all out of bed in the very early morning and then walking as a family to the Kirk (church) on the Hill where the lights were on.
2am in the morning!
As they walked they could see lots of other crofters and families doing the same thing. Over 400 she said ... all suddenly moved, in no kind of (humanly) organised way, by a conviction that they needed to pray and look to God.
1904 in Wales something similar happened.
How ever you want to explain it ... many folks found renewed faith in God ... pubs shut ... chapels opened ... wives got full pay packets on a Friday (not drunk or gambled away) ... yet production in the mines went down! (apparently the pit ponies could not understand the instructions anymore because the miners were not swearing at them) ... now that does make me smile!
The School I went to told a story of a boy, in 1859, who excused himself from class and was seen kneeling in the playground praying ... instead of ridicule, as you might expect, one by one his classmates excused themselves and knelt beside him.
They were joined finally by their teacher!
I know this because one was my Great Grandfather William Douglas aged 9
I used to think these were tall tales ... we do a lot of them back home! But I now do believe in awakening! A shared experience of seeking God.
Whatever is going on at the moment ... it is definitely shared ... there is definitely a seeking for something deeper and more meaningful
... a mass awakening?
Well only God knows ... but they do happen en masse.
But awakenings do also happen individually!
Pentecost was both a mass and individual awakening for the disciples. A tangible presence of God both collectively and personally.
Whatever the truth or tall tales around revivals ... I have seen God’s presence help, bring peace, revive and restore.
I have often heard the phrase at the moment “herd immunity”. I definitely pray for that, but also pray for “herd spirituality” ... or as Jesus might have put it “flock spirituality”
And it always begins with prayer!
14. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers
awaken in me and in us and our nations a desire to seek after all the things that you came to give us. By your Spirit bring us, individually and collectively, peace, forgiveness, restoration, healing and revival.