happy easter everyone! it’s great to know that there is a holiday where we can celebrate rabbits and eggs. just what the world needs!
oh wait. there was something bigger behind yesterday? oh of course, that Jesus guy did something, right? something about zombies or something? oh well. candy!
thanks to american nonsense and hallmark for giving us a nonsense holiday covering up the greatest thing in history.
i’m not really dumb. i more than like easter. so here’s this:
my easter weekend was spent up in suburbia with steph’s family making easter cookies with sprinkles and frosting (many of my cookies were bizarre color choices in abstract blobs and piles; not very pretty, but i was trying to be an artist), eating things (as is usual on such a celebratory day), and climbing trees.
i was told of a quote from a smart person recently, that if you took out christmas you’d lose two chapters from the new testament. if you took out easter you wouldn’t have a new testament. it’s a pretty important thing. He is risen.
on thursday, soon after axiom, a small group of students, maybe 25-30, gathered in the basement prayer room to kick off eight days of prayer. our friend john sat up front strumming a guitar and creating songs as the Spirit led, some walked around, many sat , read, wrote, knelt, anything else that brings one to a place of silence and meditation before the Lord. and again i felt in that place such a sense of peace, a sense of home. i stayed into the start of a new day and beyond. when i left they were still going strong. it being the night before good friday, well, by that time actually good friday, a group went upstairs started watching the passion of the Christ, which is a hard movie for me to watch. not just because of the over-the-top graphic violence (yes i know it’s trying to be realistic, but really?), it’s mainly the hollywood-ness of it. maybe i am just hard-hearted, but there was enough mel gibson nonsense in that movie to make it just a movie, and not quite the moving experience i was led to believe it was. at least not for me. but anyway, that’s not important now. i was able to have good talks with terry and others from the group before and after my time in the prayer room. it seems that as of now many issues that hounded us in this last week have been mostly resolved. but there were hurt feelings and strained relationships and those take some time to heal. but God is good and faithful, and here we are, in the midst of the realization of a dream we all share, the start of something hopefully much bigger. in all the books i read about and by the 24-7 prayer group, they point out that each great awakening or revolution in world missions is preceded by a big prayer movement. so i say let the prayer begin! while the room has not been filled 24-7 (that wasn’t really something we expected to happen anyway), people have been coming and the word is getting out and around to the campus ministries. it’s not that we are just looking for numbers to fill the space, but we do want many working in prayer and action towards the betterment of this campus environment. and that is going to take more than our little group and our surrounding friends.
on friday night, after a good friday service at windsor road, josh and i met at the prayer room for a time then headed out to make our usual rounds outside of the bars. our good friend thad joined us this time, in one of the rare times he actually has time to hang out with us. it was good to have him along.
as we were walking past a frat house, someone actually threw a can of beer down from a high balcony at us, missing our heads by maybe a foot or two. the can smashed into the sidewalk, exploding and sprinkling us with droplets of the cheap brew, and then went directly into the side door of a parked car. i can’t really imagine what it would look like had that thing clocked one of us. and i really don’t understand why anyone would throw such a thing for no reason at complete strangers. oh wait. beer makes people do dumb things. thanks alcohol for bringing out the best in this important generation. at another location, we walked under other balconies, sparks fluttered between us in the wind. looking back we realized someone up above had tossed their cigarette down at us. this was getting dumb. so we prayed against things being thrown at us. the next interaction we had was a guy wanting to touch thad’s shaved head. nothing else was thrown that night.
thad was hungry afterward so we went to ihop for a late night treat. and then i went back to the prayer room for a time. i finally got to bed about three in the morning, then woke up at six to pack for the weekend and take one last stint in the prayer room before catching a bus with steph northwards. the rest of the day was…sleepy. and other things. other things happened.
i was riding home on the bike last night at a little after ten pm, got just about halfway home, when i remembered suddenly that i wanted to swing by the prayer room before going to bed. this way i wouldn’t miss a day. of course already on the roll of going to bed, all sorts of reasons bombarded me as to why i should just go to bed and forget praying. but i am trying to be a man of discipline in certain areas so that i don’t become some fat animal of self-indulgence and laziness, so i turned the bike around and rode back, expecting to spend a half an hour or so in reflection of the importance of the day. but instead i found several members of the prayer group in prayer. so i joined them. and finally left about 12:20. but that’s ok. it was a good time. a very good time. much needed, i think, for all of us. although eventually sleep was much needed, too. and that was good as well.
the prayer room will stay open at least until friday evening. so if you are reading this and in urbana-champaign you should get there! just stop by anytime you can. corner of springfield and gregory st. and if not in the area, please pray for us as we seek Jesus together and see what He has for us……….