Several weeks ago, I went to see Jesus Revolution, an absolutely wonderful movie that’s based on a true story. It was the cover story of Time Magazine on June 21st, 1971. You can read the article here.
Greg Laurie, still the Pastor of Harvest Church in Southern California, wrote the book which the movie is based on. It’s the story of a failing Church and a struggling Pastor named Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer), who is introduced to a hippie preacher named Lonnie (played by Jonathan Roumie of Chosen), by his daughter. Chuck does the unthinkable by inviting Lonnie into his Church to preach, also inviting his hippie friends and a band to do what wasn’t considered true Church music.
More and more hippies then attended services, with the Church growing so much that they had to build a big tent. Baptisms were done in droves, in the Pacific Ocean. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Pastor Chuck addresses the hippie congregation by saying (paraphrasing), “no matter what sin you’ve committed, no matter what sin you’re currently living, you’re welcome here, where you’ll experience forgiveness and freedom”. WOW!!!!!!!!!! One of many times I teared up…pure joy. You may have heard before, “the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints”. Do yourself a favor…go see Jesus Revolution.
Relate the above to what went on at Asbury University, where a revival was sparked by students spontaneously staying after a regularly scheduled chapel service on February 8, 2023. Following the gathering, Asbury President Kevin Brown sent out a brief two-sentence email: “There’s worship happening at Asbury. You’re welcome to join. An estimated 70,000 visited the campus for the revival through February 19th.
I don’t know if you see it, but something’s happening. There’s a thirst, a hunger that people have. And they’re acting on it…including our Catholic Church. You may have heard of the launch of the National Eucharistic Congress, that will culminate in a revival in Indianapolis, in July 2024…with 80,000 in attendance. I’m honored to be on the programming team…it’s going to be a great gathering.
I’m also privileged to work at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where we see this enthusiasm for our faith all the time. If you’ve never been, come visit. You’ll see a campus full of students truly on fire for our Lord. Come to one of our Steubenville Conferences and be blown away by what you experience. I guarantee you, you’ve never seen a Liturgy celebrated like at Steubenville. Our conferences are truly life changing, clearly the work of Jesus.
In 1969, then Fr. Joseph Ratzinger said, “From the crisis of today the Church tomorrow will emerge a Church that has lost much. She will become small and have to start afresh, more or less from the beginning”. Prophetic words from our last Pope. The world, including our country, is in crisis. Not unique to all of Christianity, the Catholic Church has suffered significant losses. The statistics show that far fewer have a faith life compared to past generations.
Stipulating to the above, people are seeking. They don’t always know what it is they’re looking for, but they’re looking. They’re yearning to fill the God sized hole they have in their chests. We know there’s only one answer…and that’s JESUS!!!
What to do…love God, love your neighbor, and share the love of Christ. What else? Go see Jesus Revolution. Engage in the National Eucharistic Congress. Come to a Steubenville Conference. All will be life-changing…I guarantee it. Invest in your own faith journey. And then go light up the world.
Btw, you can listen to a brief interview of me by Drew Mariani on Relevant Radio, on all of this here. (from minute 40 thru 47ish)
As always, please email me at [email protected] with questions, concerns, comments, or prayer requests.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!