Each of the disciples had one. The Master of Ceremonies at a wedding in Cana had one. The Samaritan woman at the well had one. Many children had one as did hordes of sick, blind and lame folks. A number of dead people had one, too. What all these people had in common was the encounter (with Jesus) of a lifetime, an encounter which was, for the rest of their lives, a turning point, a red letter day, a set of circumstances, that would be impossible to forget. Of the millions of everyday ordinary events of a lifetime, most of which are soon or eventually lost in a brain file somewhere, there are a few which rise above the rest, the ones that get repeated in conversations over the years, sometimes with tears, sometimes with great joy. These crème de la crème moments are often powerful and explosive, loud and celebratory, but sometimes more private, with less fireworks, sometimes, like the milk separator in the kitchen of my grandmother’s farmhouse, starting off in slow spin, barely audible, but gradually spinning faster, volume mounting, until, at top speed, conversation was only possible by raising voices.
Looking back over our years, we, too, surely have those standout occasions which we can recall easily, with vivid detail, and with similar emotion and fervency, be they tragic events or ones filled with elation. Maybe there are some of each attached to our history and living on in our memories which continue to shape who we are and how we live right up to this present moment. They all are significant. They all have their place in the molding of our character. They all impact our worldview. They all have an impact on our spiritual walk, our relationship with Jesus. They all open the door to Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, or to Jesus, Gentle Shepherd of still waters.
We are hearing reports of what seems like one of those moments in the lives of several thousand college students here in the US. The college town of Wilmore, Kentucky, has been cited in probably hundreds of thousands of Instagram posts by now and a growing number of YouTube videos. We may say this ‘event,’ whatever it will be referred to later on, has started with a whimper, among a small group of students following a regular chapel service in a small Christian University. No planning. No hype. No organization. Simple response to God’s Word. Simple worship. A quiet, 24-hour-a-day answering the invitation of Jesus to come away with him. The numbers are growing. The Spirit of God appears to be stirring hearts of young people with repentance, prayer, healing, Scripture, worship. For how many will this be one of ‘those’ moments, forever etched on their souls? How many of these young people will the world take note of in years to come because of their ‘Yes’ today to the call of Jesus? For how many of us will this moment of prayerful engagement for the protection over this move of the Spirit be our next ‘Red Letter’ Day? He is the roaring Lion of Judah and the ‘still small voice’ in the storm. As both, He manifests His glory. As both, He bares His magnificent heart of Love. Can’t wait to see y’all tomorrow at 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM. PD