President Obama’s moniker for success has been his desire for ‘change.’  Whether or not he pulls it off is another matter.  I get burned out by the polarization of the political landscape.  I tire of hearing about the ‘good old days’ of the right and the lack of moral center that seems to characterize the left.

The desert fathers and mothers were faced with a society and a church that needed change.  Only their approach and strategy did not have anything to do with societial structures.  While we can ‘do something’ about who or who is not in power, we really need change of a different sort.  What if God’s people everywhere committed to something simple but difficult?  Calling on the name of the Lord? Here’s a comment about the fathers and mothers of the desert:

“It is a picture familiar enough in the Middle Ages; the three parts of society, those who fight, those who labour and those who pray, all working in their different ways for the life of the kingdom.  Prayer was a great action to be fulfilled in the body politic; the monks were like trees, purifying the atmosphere by their presence” (The Lives of the Desert Fathers, 12).

An Awakening

George Whitefield Preaching Giclee Print

I’ve been reading the life of George Whitefield, Anglican itinerant who helped lead (With the Wesley brothers) the Great Awakening of the 18th century.  Fascinating stuff.  Several things were curious–one was that the churches banned Whitefield from preaching mostly because he was talented and full of the Spirit. 

He was not heretical or dramatic.  He was just popular.  Therefore, he was forced to preach in the streets and hillsides.  This brought the awakening to the ‘unwashed’ and poor of among the English peoples (and later the Americans).  Many people repented and found Christ, many of whom were not welcome in the church.  They experienced the ‘new birth’ in Christ, outside of the pews, not in them.

When we ask God for ‘revival,’ what are we asking for?  When we ask God for revival, what do we wish to see?  Drama?  Emotion?  Full churches?

Maybe another question, is who do we want to see get revived?  The desperate are usually the ones who are open to the Spirit of God, not those who are fine with the state of their lives.  The untouchables usually have the spiritual soil for such awakenings.  Are we ready for them?