There is a revival taking place in Wilmore, Kentucky. When church people hear this, we typically think about how churches schedule revivals. They bring in special speakers, schedule special music, set the location, and all the rest. Once all the details are worked out, they advertise their “revival” to get people to come. This is not the type of revival that is taking place in Wilmore, Kentucky. Last Wednesday, “on the morning of Feb. 8, a chapel service took place in Hughes Auditorium on the Asbury (University) campus. The message was about confession and repentance and after the service was over, a group of students stayed behind to worship. Then more joined them. And then more, and more.”* Entering the sixth day, there are apparently no signs of slowing. Being that this was not planned, the staff and leadership are doing their best as they deal with the needs of an influx of people from all over the country. In addition, the school was in the midst of midterms and classes have had to be canceled. I have not followed it too closely, but have watched a couple of videos and read a couple of posts from witnesses there. A couple of posts were from folks who went there skeptical and left convinced that “Something special was happening and it was more than an emotional stirring of college students.”*
Like many others, I have been praying for years (in ebbs and flows) for revival. I say that admitting I have no clue what I have even been asking for. In 16 years as a pastor, I have never scheduled a revival. While I will raise an occasional hand, all who know me know I am not a hands in the air, dancing in the aisles charismatic. I love giving Bible teaching sermons and having a manuscript in front of me when I preach, even if I only refer to it to regain my path in a sermon. In spite of my love for a manuscript and my hesitancy in emotionally directed services, I do feel I am Spirit-led.
I write the two previous paragraphs for myself perhaps more than my readers today. I write today as a way of processing yesterday’s worship. It was perhaps the second most memorable Sunday morning worship service that I have been the pastor for. The other one was at the Mason United Methodist Church when we had a three hour Sunday morning service. Nobody left in the entire three hours and I did not even preach! Yesterday, I was in the sanctuary at about 6:30 a.m. and I knew God was going to do something special. And He did. It was as if the outpouring of His blessing being poured over Wilmore was overflowing and somehow pouring down on us at Wesley Chapel UMC. There were no special speakers, no special music, no special time, and no advertising. And I have given better sermons. But God… The question I have is, “what happens now, Lord?” As far as I know, that worship in Mason 14 years ago was a wonderful moment of God’s special favor that appeared and then was gone. I guess time will tell what, if anything, “heaven’s overflow” will mean to those at Asbury. Time will tell what, if anything, Wilmore’s overflow will have in our little church at the upper end of a small West Virginia County. If it was just to remind us that God is present and on occasion He “shows up and shows off”, then so be it. I thank Him for this “memorial stone” along my spiritual walk with Jesus. But, I pray He is not finished. I will be at the altar every morning this week praying that He shows Himself mightily again this coming Sunday. Where I must be careful is that I do not try to orchestrate it. Yet, I will prepare as if He will. We appreciate your prayers as well. And if you attend, come expecting. I know I will.
*From the article about the Asbury revival you can read here.