[Sunday] evening’s gathÂerÂing at All Saint’s CatheÂdral after tea on the grounds was an OpenÂing worÂship freely flowÂing with hymns brought by WestÂern misÂsionÂarÂies yet touched by an African vigor and sway. It also brought varÂiÂous speakÂers to the podium to focus our attenÂtion on the East African Revival of the 1920s and 30s and which had a secÂond or renewed out pourÂing of the Holy Spirit in the 1970s. Indeed as the ChanÂcelÂlor of Uganda ChrisÂtÂian UniÂverÂsity reminded us in a stirÂring address””“We speak of the East Africa Revival as if it is a relic of hisÂtory. It is not just a relic”¦not just a moveÂment in hisÂtory; it is a livÂing moveÂment today.” (ParaÂphrased from my jotÂted notes from his address) This moveÂment which has as its cenÂter the Death and ResÂurÂrecÂtion of Jesus Christ, the call of the Holy Spirit for believÂers to “Walk in the Light” and the necesÂsity of repenÂtance, pubÂlic conÂfesÂsion of sins and putting of wrongs right in the believer’s life, as well as a corÂreÂspondÂing call for humilÂity and broÂkenÂness, was and remains a mighty presÂence in the Church in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and TanÂzaÂnia. This revival like so many great revivals in hisÂtory was preÂdomÂiÂnately a lay moveÂment. It calls every man to be a Bible stuÂdent, responÂsive to the leadÂing of the Holy Spirit, tranÂscendÂing denomÂiÂnaÂtional boundÂaries yet seekÂing to keep (in the phrase I rememÂber from sevÂeral decades ago in the Renewal MoveÂment of the 1970s and 80s) “the fire in the fireÂplace.” Indeed as the ChanÂcelÂlor noted, from the heart of this livÂing moveÂment today’s Church is preÂsented with some probÂing questions:
What is the cause of coldÂness and deadÂness in our churches?
Why are peoÂple allowed to come to the Lord’s Table who are livÂing in known sin?
What can be done to bring revival to the Church?