This Sunday through Wednesday, I temporarily abandon my own pulpit to fill another. I'll be preaching the Creelsboro Christian Church revival, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to worship with some of my other brothers and sisters in Russell County.
Naturally, this has me thinking about revival meetings. Revivals have a long history in America. Even before the "frontier religions" really got going, the preachers of the First Great Awakening were whipping New England into shape. Later on the Methodists, Baptists, and the newly-formed Christian Church would take the gospel across the Appalachians and through the South and Midwest. Circuit riders made their rounds, and evangelists moved from one revival to another on their own "circuits" of sorts.
Somewhere along the way, America lost the spirit of revival. The closest we've come to a nation-wide revival since the 1800s is the crusades of Rev. Billy Graham. But there's been no major group of evangelists at work, no dedicated group of preachers proclaiming the gospel every night across the continent. I'm not sure why we stopped. Privatized religion? Fear of public opinion? Declining attendance? Apathy? I wish I knew.
One thing is certain: if we want to see America revived, see it turn back to God, it will require the word of God being preached and the prayers of the people. If the Church seeks His face, maybe we can lead a nation to repentance and healing in the name of Jesus.