You’ve probably seen the news of what’s going on at Asbury University, a private Christian college in Kentucky. It started during a regular chapel service on February 8 – but didn’t stop.
“After the benediction, the gospel choir began to sing a final chorus—and then something began to happen that defies easy description. Students did not leave. They were struck by what seemed to be a quiet but powerful sense of transcendence, and they did not want to go. They stayed and continued to worship,” Asbury professor Tom McCall described to Christianity Today.
Word got out quickly and students from dozens of other colleges and curious believers started showing up at all hours. It’s been going 24 hours ever since, unscripted. No one appears to be in charge. No worship team – new musicians just show up. People just take to the platform to witness. There’s constant prayer – alone, in pairs and in circles. Some lay prostrate, face down. Arms raised. Tears flow.
Alexander Presta, editor of the student-run website The Asbury Collegian, told Christian Broadcasting Network the scene is a “posture of radical humility.”
As of writing it’s been more than 11 days, and it’s still going strong. It’s expanded to overflow chapels at Asbury and spread to other colleges. As expected, it’s attracted many thousands of curious and faithful and the quiet campus has become an international tourist attraction. (The college is now taking steps to reign it in to restore some normalcy leading up to midterms.)
None of this was planned, school officials and students say. “It was the Holy Spirit choosing that day, falling down and touching our hearts. You knew it was different. ‘Was this scheduled?’ people have asked us. No, this was purely God … no one wants to leave,” said Presta.
This is an age of shorter attention spans where typical worship is no longer than one hour. Some pastors, like yours truly, are trending down to 45 minutes. How does one make sense of this non-stop revival?
“Many people say that in the chapel they hardly even realize how much time has elapsed. It is almost as though time and eternity blur together as heaven and earth meet. Anyone who has witnessed it can agree that something unusual and unscripted is happening,” Prof. McCall reported.
“The holy love of the triune God is apparent, and there is an inexpressible sweetness and innate attractiveness to it. It is immediately obvious why no one wants to leave and why those who must leave want to come back as soon as they can.”
His words send genuine Holy Spirit chills down one side of my body. I’m reminded that in heaven, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.
We’re all looking for hope these days. We need it. Some are desperate for it.
Critics might say this is just an Asbury thing, nothing new. Two weeks in 1908, three days in 1921, 118 hours in 1950, 144 hours in 1970, 127 hours in 1992, seven days in 2006 and now this. It may grow a bit but eventually peter out. Life will go on.
But what if?
What if it’s the beginning of something greater? There is a widespread expectation within charismatic circles that we are on the verge of the Next Great Awakening and that the Lord has been preparing His church for a few decades.
Awakening or not, let us just lift up holy hands in concert with our kindred Gen ‘Z’ souls on campus and give thanks and praise for the Holy Spirit’s presence, for the faithful ones whose hearts and minds are open to the Spirit’s movement and are willing and able to respond.
May similar revival happen in the remnant faithful congregations of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. That prayer is at the core of The Renewal Fellowship.
Sounds exciting, Spirit-inspired! We need renewal/revival and there are plenty of people who have prayed for this. Could what is happening at Asbury be the tip of the revival ice-berg?
Lord, let your Spirit flow!
Praying that this move of Spirit of God spreads beyond one campus and beyond national borders. What’s happening in Ethopia? Africa needs awakening too.
May THE BLESSING which has gone global through out the pandemic years bear the fruit prayed for…may the Lord lift up His countenance upon us and bring His needed peace SHALOM wholeness to gen Z and beyond..
2 Chronicles 7: 14