Musings from the Manse – February 2023

Hopefully most of you will be aware that we have embarked on a series in Worship and the House/Bible study groups using the book written by Rev Tommy MacNeil: ‘Sleeping Giant – A call to the church to Awake and Arise’, as an encouragement to revival personally, in the church and in our communities. Tommy describes himself as a ‘Gospel Optimist’ but says that we as Christians and the church in the UK need to be very honest with ourselves. He describes the church as stuck, where many are weary and tired and so the Church is not making the impact it should or indeed could as the Bride of Christ.

Tommy says in contrast to perhaps the reality of where we are ‘Yet, as far as God is concerned, we are beautiful, brilliant people.’ We are Christ’s plan A for the world as a church called to into partnership with him and as he works in and through us as we love and serve God’s world, the world will be transformed.

What a God given vision of a new world because of his church, you and me. Imagine a world where ‘At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.’ Hence we pray in the words Jesus gave us;

Your will be done, your Kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven.”

But to pray this prayer we must be willing to be part of the answer i.e. part of the solution. And to be part of the solution and to be a member of the church that is the hope of the world, Tommy wholeheartedly believes that we need revival and that revival must start in our hearts as individuals. In the ordinary people that we are but in the extraordinary relationship and calling we have in Jesus.

In encouraging revival, Tommy highlights a mistake we can often make in that we expect revival to happen outside ourselves and to those outside the church. ‘It’s all too easy to look at others and make a judgement about how much they need revival, while believing we’re fine, thank you very much.’ ‘God forgive us and save us from ourselves!’

I hope as we continue to journey together through the inspiration of this book we will all be called into talking to God and praying;

“Lord send revival, start with me!”

And as we do journey together let’s be open with each other and share our stories of God at work in us to be sources of encouragement.

Your friend and servant


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