Revival Meeting

I’m handing out tracts and various other items of Christian literature. It’s a cool and cloudy day with the threat of rain in the air, but I’m feeling cheerful, since the friendly folk of this small town are affable and easygoing, and will take tracts more readily than in most of the other places I’ve been. 

The pedestrian crossing signal sounds, and an elderly couple hurry across the road and head towards me: the woman is on a mobility scooter, her husband walking behind her. I’ve seen them before, I think; yes, they’re the ones who always press me to take a handful of silicon bracelets with various scriptures on them or slogans of the “What Would Jesus Do?” variety. And yes, before I can say that I seldom wear jewellery of any sort and I don’t know anyone who would want a rubberised wristband, there is a small pile of them on top of my tract envelope. 

However, that is not the main purpose of this meeting. They have an important message for me. I say “they”, but it’s the elderly lady who does most of the talking, and it is she to whom a revelation has been given. What follows is interesting, after a fashion, and there are several questions that I would like to put to this prophetess. However, she talks right over me to begin with, and then, when I persist in interrupting, she tells me several times to “Just shut up and listen!”

Well, patience is a virtue, and in my previous life I had plenty of opportunities to practise it. I won’t attempt to repeat all that she had to say, but, in brief: God has given her a prophecy, a promise, a revelation - and it’s a racing certainty. Revival is imminent. It will come at Easter time. It will not be in any one locality, it will be worldwide, and everyone will see it. It will be on a scale never known before, and it will, it will, it will come to pass. There is a certain amount of spluttering and shouting and finger-wagging at this point, as she warms to her theme.

Do I look slightly sceptical, I wonder? It wouldn’t be surprising, when you consider how many recent revivals I’ve been told about that have gone on invisibly, unseen by the waiting world; and what about the many thousands of Muslims supposedly converted in nearby northern towns; and all those Roman Catholic nuns coming to Christ in the Vatican itself; and those far-off foreign lands, especially the ones under communist control, where Christians are apparently almost outnumbering communists? And then, there is the second coming of Christ. How many times have I been told that He will return on a particular date, only for that day to come and go and for the dates to be recalculated and the eschatological diagrams redrawn?

And yet, she seems so certain that this will come to pass. She tells me that she has been asked to leave several local churches when she has stood up to prophesy in the midst of their hard-hearted and hostile congregations. 

When she has exhausted herself, I tell her that I have been praying for revival regularly for several years, as have many other folk that I know and my hope is that… But the mobility scooter is already on the move, and the husband smiles and shrugs and shakes my hand and follows after.

That was a few months ago. I looked at my diary on Monday morning, April 6th, and there was a note that I had made to remind me of that message. It read “Easter Revival? Be On The Lookout!” And so I am. Please get in touch with me if you happen to notice it before I do, whether it’s local, national or worldwide.

Now I come to think of it, there was no mention of the pandemic presently being visited upon us, or I could have joined the ranks of those American and Canadian preppers, who are even now sitting on the porches of their isolated homesteads smiling in grim self-satisfaction, with three years of essential supplies in the basement and pump-action shotguns in their laps, ready to repel boarders.

Will I be desperately disappointed if Easter comes and goes, and nothing much happens, apart from this pandemic? No, not really. Our God is sovereign, and revival is in His hands, and His alone. “Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?” (Lamentations 3.37-9) I will simply carry on praying. And this afternoon I will be mulling over Psalm 85, in the company of Duncan Campbell, Horatius Bonar, and Edward Donnelly, all courtesy of 

Here is the first part of that psalm.

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. LORD, you were favourable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin. Selah. You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger. Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us! Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.

Perhaps you’ll find time to read the rest of it for yourself before this day is out. It will be worth your while.

P.S. Ah, the miniature magnolia in our tiny front garden is beginning to bloom! Here is the very first flower opening up!