I am a Christian.
I’m not a very good one, but I’m a Christian and one who is really trying, with varying levels of success, to be a better one.
I get that not everyone is a believer and I respect people’s right to make decisions differently from me. That includes matters of faith.
Yet if you’re a believer, there’s something interesting happening, something that is tugging at my own spirituality in a significant manner.
Students at Asbury University — a Christian college in Wilmore, Kentucky — have been praying and worshiping in their chapel around the clock for over a week.
The phenomenon has been attracting visitors from all over, and by many accounts what appears to be a spiritual "revival" is spreading elsewhere.
What are the details?
It began with a regularly scheduled chapel service at Hughes Auditorium on the morning of Feb. 8 — and the Christian Post said it simply hasn't ended.
Alexandra Presta — a senior who's also executive editor for the campus newspaper, The Collegian — explained to the Post that following last Wednesday's chapel service “roughly 30 students kept going.” Soon other students joined them.
Presta added to the outlet: “I had left for a few minutes but then felt called to return. Since then, it hasn't stopped. It's been a mix of worship, testimony, prayer, confession, silence." She called it “a full experience of the Holy Spirit," the Post noted.
What’s more, people are showing up from all over the country. One person got in their car with no particular plan, but then drove 6 1/2 hours to join in what’s happening.
Now, let’s acknowledge that at least some of these people may be claiming divine guidance on what was really a conscious decision, but I’ll bet a lot of these stories are true.
And it’s kind of amazing and stirring.
One of the things I’ve always lamented is that we don’t live in a time where we see God’s influence in our day-to-day lives quite like the stories we read in the Bible. God doesn’t generally just show up and tell us to build a boat, for example, and I’ve never seen a sea parted so folks could cross easily.
But this? This is something else. This is God showing up. People are coming to a place few have ever had any interest in visiting, many saying they have no idea why they felt like they had to go.
This is a moment. This is one of those moments that may well continue and grow and change everything.
Or, it may not.
It may end up being an interesting footnote to 2023 and no one will notice or care going forward. It may go nowhere at all.
At some point, we need to pick up the ball and carry it beyond Asbury College. The question is whether enough people will.
For those who aren’t believers, though, I don’t know what to tell you. I suspect some of you are ambivalent about what’s happening, which I get. Others hope this doesn’t turn into some kind of theocratic movement, which is a sentiment I share—I like my faith and government very separate, thank you very much.
But for now, we can all hope this turns out to be something of a turning point in our nation, a moment when people stop some of the ridiculous nonsense we’ve seen in recent years and settle down to something with far less insanity.
I'm not at all a Christian, but occurrences like this warm my heart.
"Others hope this doesn’t turn into some kind of theocratic movement..."
Bad news: America is already in the grip of a theocratic movement -- a pagan theocratic movement (see chiefly "climate change" and "gender fluidity").
As regards the matter of "many saying they have no idea why they felt like they had to go" to join in at Asbury U's interesting happening, perhaps Philippians 2:13 provides an answer: "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." Translation: the Lord gives us nudges and, if we're smart, we'll respond correctly to those nudges.