[I was sitting in Macedonia Baptist (KCMO)’s revival yesterday and they were singing this song that reminded me of a more traditional hymn. Which led me to this question about revival and what makes it happen. This is part one of just a few of the things I believe are necessary for revival in the life of the body(person).]
I recall growing up as a child in the African Methodist church hating going to church on sundays. And it was not the service or the sermon (which is short by comparison to Baptists.) I was an acolyte. And (by force) a dedicated one from a young age. So you could guarantee I’d be sitting under the pulpit every Sunday, administering communion and praying. And trying to figure out how to stay awake…
Mrs. Blackwell used to play the organ, my mother or Jaris Morgan would be on the piano. During the offering and just prior to altar call Mrs. Blackwell would play either “Lead me to Calvary” or “He Knows How Much We Can Bear” in extremely simple terms. Extremely simple chord progressions and notes. At that point in my life I heard it and understood it because I had been playing sax for some years. But its simplicity of significance took effect when I left the church for college.
During some sordid days and uncertainty of college days when I was not sure if I was going to graduate and illicit conduct had left me trying to regain a sense of normalcy and balance. I could her some simple melodies from an organ in my head gently pacing through “Lest I forget Gethsemane, lead me to calvary.” And again when I’d chased every notion of identity I wanted in order to be something that left me nothing I found Mrs. Blackwell playing “We are a heavenly fathers children…..he knows just how much we can bear.”
Simple notes. Incredibly profound and sustaining. I had to jump on you tube an find someone similar to her and when it did it brought a rush back of a time where I knew what it was like to be really safe. It was a moment so profound it got me through some rough times. Some late nights in architecture studio wondering if this will pay off. Some days when I knew God wanted something different for me. Those sustained organ notes became rocks then and now. I can hear Blackwell in my heart playing:
Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.
And it gives me hope and a sense of recognition of the fact that little moments have profound effects on our lives. They effect the moment, but they can do the same thing years later.
Revival begins at the arrival of something precious. If there is no treasure nothing precious to you, no intrinsic value for you, there is no revival. If you can look at Jesus’ agony and love for you with the same appeal as your favorite meal there is no revival because Calvary has not taken on the value it deserves. Instead of His Gospel being beautiful grace notes from Our Father it is only samples of other news put together to tickle ears.
When there is only one Gospel and it is precious, he takes you back and brings you forward. And there you are reminded that the same effect He had from the beginning is still at work.
He is giving you life.
If there is no life there is nothing that has been revived. But precious things remind you to live. Revival BEGINS at the arrival of something precious.