I watched a film recently called Woodlawn. Set in the 1970's; it's based on the true story of revival taking place in the midst of the breaking up of racially segregated high schools.
It wasn't until the credits that I discovered it was released to promote a series of youth rallies held in the US in 2016. It makes me think of the Azusa Street revival that happened last year, which was itself an echo of the previous 1906 revival.
One bit of dialogue goes like this:
"Some kind of great power has been given to you, son."
"What should I do with it?"
"The good book says where there no vision, the people perish. People can't live without hope. They need it like they need air. I say - go give it to 'em."
"What's so special about us?
"We assemble. We give them hope."
"The Jesus Army has assembled. This is what happens when God shows up".
The Jesus Revolution
The film references a 1971 cover of Time Magazine titled 'The Jesus Revolution'. A fascinating, relatively recent story of an Uprising. I'm struck that the Uprising we are seeing and are a part of now is no new thing. It's a groundswell; an echo of revivals past, a reaping others' prayers.
'Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.' Henry Ford.
Jesus appears to, but is not recognised by close friends several times after his death.
On the road to Emmaus - they believed he was dead; 'they had sadness written across their faces', "we had hoped he was the Messiah" (Luke 24). And Peter, "I'm going fishing" (John 21) followed by a fruitless night, when Jesus (the carpenter) schools the fishermen on how to fish. They don't recognise who it is until the miracle happens.
Or Mary outside the tomb on the third day; '"Woman why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?". "They took my master and I don't know where they put him". After she said this she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't recognise him ... Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”.' (John 20)
I wonder if God is a whole lot more ready to show up in our lives than we realise, expect, or dare I say - believe.
Expect the unexpected
So my challenge to you, and myself is to expect the unexpected. What we believe about something often creates the outcome of our experience. Let's believe that God's going to show up. Let's believe we can do the thing he's called us to.
I'll leave you with a final quote from Woodlawn:
"Where are we going?"
"To do something wild and rebellious."
"This is your moment. This is your time. Go and take it."
"This is what happens when God shows up."