“My task on the Sunday was to examine the Sunday Schools Meeting at Nantyr, but instead of the question and answer session it was far easier to turn it all into a prayer-meeting. I was to be there all day, but I felt a voice calling me to go down to Glynceiriog that evening. I didn’t know why, but that Sabbath evening a man gave himself to the Lord".
J. Ellis Jones: eye-witness to the Welsh 1904 Revival
The revival narrative can be a deceptive trail. Leading the reader upon the path of seeking out the spectacular based upon the size of crowd or breathtaking signs. It is true to say, those tales are true. But they don’t tell the whole story.
One of the most beautiful tones within this symphony of diverse notes, is the sound of the individual. Not from a sense of selfish want or egotistical focus, but from a sense of heaven’s concern upon the ‘one’. In amongst the noise of many, there is a act of love being played out that goes beyond the constraints of our imagination. Where God’s Hand orchestrates a movement of people, expressing love’s embrace in a way that values the mundane actions of our lives.
In amongst the crazy noise of the Welsh 1904 revival, where the spectacular took its place upon the stage of our attention. There were a series of notes underpinning the song being sung. Where characters like Ellis Jones, who simply followed the prompting of his heart and walked the one-hour journey to another town. There he found a man who needed help. It wasn’t a crowd of conversations. It didn’t make the headline news. But it did bring praise into the very heart of heaven.
Yes, revival can have the razzmatazz of the loud and dramatic. But we are ‘less’, if we build our hopes around that. Revival is about something more. And maybe, to discover it, means that we begin at the beginning. Love for God. Love for one another. Love outplayed in the mundane and dramatic. Each action playing a crucial part. Each action contributing to the other. Each action reliant upon the whole.
Love. It’s an intricate narrative, whose lines we can so easily miss.