Saturday, April 10, 2010
A Cold Spring Field
Yesterday was an exceptional day. Hilary and I were driving through the Woodstock area to London. Our purpose was to pick up my mother, age 83, from a rehabilitative hospital and to move her to a retirement home to be re-united with my father, age 87. The two have had a very trying month following a serious fall in their home. It appears to family that their days in the old homestead are ended. This brings on a mixture of emotions, but ultimately relief.
I expected that the day would be bitter-sweet, and my wife noted that "emotionally I seemed close to the surface." I told her my thoughts as above and the other issue which had been weighing heavily on each of us for weeks - the prospect of revival for the Christian Church and for our assembly in particular.
Perhaps it has been apparent lately in this blog that I am looking beyond pleasant program in our gatherings to an encounter with the power and cleansing and commissioning of God. In my estimation we must break from the inertia of the "workable format" to a humble seeking and waiting and breaking for God's purposes.
We had been listening in the car to a beautiful soundtrack by Michael W. Smith. The day was cool and overcast with sprinklings of snow. Unusual and slightly unsettling for one week after Easter. I observed a lone tall tree, bud-less and leafless standing in the middle of an empty farm field. Not yet disked over. Where was spring?
At that moment the singer's lyrics hit me with force:
"This is the air I breathe.
This is the air I breathe.
Your Holy Presence living in me.
This is my daily bread.
This is my daily bread.
Your very Word spoken to me.
And Oh, I'm desperate for You.
Yes, Oh I'm lost without you..."
This appears to be God's present word on the prospect of revival - DESPERATION.
Will our churches be trusting and honest enough in confessing need, uncleanness, dissatisfaction, restlessness with the status quo, weariness with multiplied programs of men? There is such a pressure to affirm that "all is good with the team at our home church". All is not good. It misses the mark of our Captain and High Priest.
What will it take? Persecution? Scandal? Reproach from a hurting community left unaffected? From disenchanted youth systematically educated in godlessness? Set-back? Financial or social disaster? Weeks of mournful intercession?
For too long now our gatherings have been about entertainment, education, fellowship and self-congratulation. Let us resolve to hear God for change. To come to church ready with a word or an encouragement or a warning. A cleansed, humbled, submissive, trimmed family of obedient servants. Prepared for the action of God's disk and plough.
That spring might come to our land. That the blessing might be far-reaching.
"Bread corn is bruised."