Sleeping Beauty...Awake (God wants to do a lot of Kissing)

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We are a few days away from October 31st. This year it is a Sunday. More importantly, it is Reformation Day. In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 "grievances" to the door of the "Castle church" in Wittenberg, Germany. I know that church, that door, my hands have run over its surface, and my feet have stood in Luther's pulpit. It is one of the places I can call "home".

A few hours west of Wittenberg is another German city called Wuppertal. It was here in 1934 that a group of German Christians under the leadership of Karl Barth affirmed the "Barmen Declaration" (Barmen is a suburb). It was a declaration, boldly made in the shadow of a destructive political regime. It was a call to the Church to "awake", and live in relationship with the person of Jesus the Christ.

Wuppertal is also known for its famous city fountain depicting "Dornroschen" that is, Sleeping Beauty and her prince. Many are familiar with the story. An evil fairy, having been rejected by the king, pronounces a curse and a destiny over his daughter. Blood would flow at the appointed time and the young girl would die through a needle on a spindle. Whenever blood flows it can bring life or death!

However, a "restraining power" limits the curse of eternal death to one hundred years, and provides a "revival" for the young princess through the kiss of a prince.
The Church is that Sleeping Beauty. Some five hundred years ago the Prince of Peace used Martin Luther (and others) to awaken this sleeping beauty. It was a kiss of love, from God who is love to awaken His bride.

About one hundred years have passed since the birth of the modern Pentecostal movement. The king of love, and Prince of peace by the person of the Holy Spirit "kissed" the princess (again) to awaken His Bride the Church. When that happens, we may rightly call it Revival. It was a global kiss that went from Wales to South Africa, and also to North America.

The poisoned needle that caused Sleeping Beauty's slumber is for the Church symbolized by sin. A "nail" of Satan that causes blood to flow and leads to unconsciousness and death. There is another nail from which blood flows, it is the nail of love and life. It was driven into the body of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Golgotha. The nail that Luther drove into the Wittenberg church door came from that same "batch". Such nails always bring an awakening and Revival.

What is "Revival" and who needs it some may ask. Living in a unconscious state of existence calls for revival. In a spiritual context it calls for an awareness of Divine presence. It requires a "Divine kiss of love" from the Holy Spirit to awaken us to the presence of the Prince. It is the prince who initiates, for "we are dead in our sins" and he invites us into a relationship.
As in every healthy marriage, it is a "24-7" relationship. The consciousness and celebration of "the other" is not diminished by distance. It is a constant.

Evidence of Revival at Millbrook is emerging. God says, "Behold I am doing a new thing, do you not perceive it?" (Isa.43:19). Revival should never be measured in terms of folded up wheel chairs in the corner, or the height of the bonfire fuelled by wooden crutches. It is measured by the testimony of the Bride that shares the kiss of love that has brought a transformed life. It is the uninhibited embrace of a lover as two souls unite as one.

We are a treasure more precious than gold. Gold as it is being refined, will shed its impurities, and make it even more valuable and useable. No jeweler would want to create an object out of gold unless the material was pure. God is no different. "Be you Holy as I am" says the Lord.

Transformation starts with a kiss. At birth the prince of darkness blows a kiss of death over us. Reformation Sunday and true Revival is remembering that the Prince of Light seeks to give a kiss of Life to His beloved.

What kind of nails do you carry, and who is kissing you?

Because of Jesus....ruined for the ordinary

PJ

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