Yesterday, we began revival services at our church. They generally are much like any other Sunday, only we have a guest preacher and worship leader. Dr. Jason Meyer, professor of NT and Greek at Louisiana College, preached from Mark 1-6 in the morning service (yes, the first 6 chapters!) and from Mark 6-8 in the evening service. I must admit that I wasn’t sure how he was going to cover that much material in one sermon, but he did and did it well. When I preach, especially through epistles or didactic sections of the Gospels, I preach small sections (though sometimes I wish I had a bit more time to cover longer pericopes). I’ve never heard a sermon that covered so much ground, but this was truly great. Dr. Meyer obviously did not treat every verse, often addressing entire accounts as supplements to the larger purpose of the gospel. The passages he did treat at any length were enlightening and challenging, to say the least. In sum, I would say the thrust of the sermon was the revelation of who Jesus was and that revelation permits us one of two reactions: acknowledging Christ as God, Savior, and King, or denying him as such. A powerful message to be sure!
Sunday night, Dr. Meyer preached from Mark 6-8, now focusing on the the authority and deity of Christ. I wish I had the recall to reproduce his message because I would rank it up there among the most challenging I’ve heard in some time. These chapters, as they were handled in the sermon, showed the various reactions to the person and claims of Jesus. I am more familiar with the Gospels of Matthew and John, so I was glad to know we would spend the whole revival series in the Gospel of Mark. One of the things that struck me in the two sermons was the extent to which Mark employs the OT to illustrate and substantiate Jesus’ own claims and demonstrations of his deity, not to mention the passion and intensity with which Dr. Meyer presented the texts!
So far, it has been a wonderful time of worship and fellowship! The funny thing about revivals here is that there is little in the way of visible response (e.g. people at the altar, manifestations of conviction, etc.); however, I have learned not to count on merely the visible as evidence of God’s Spirit moving in people’s hearts. I believe that when the Word of God is proclaimed faithfully and accurately by one who has been empowered and equipped by God, the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of those who hear. They may not come to the altar, they may not manifest externally the conviction of the Spirit, but I rest assured that he is speaking to them. Of course, we would all like to have Acts 2 results, but I leave all of that to God and simply trust that he knows what he’s doing!
I am anxious to hear tonight’s sermon and I hope to post my thoughts on it later tonight.
Αυτω η δοξα,