Race and Revival–Revisiting Jena

I was looking at the RSS feed from Baptist Press and came across the article “Jena Revival Heads into Week 4“. Immediately I was intrigued. You probably remember, I hope, the racial tension budding from Jena across the nation back in September. I gave the beginning of my thoughts on overcoming racial barriers in response to this in a post entitled “Have we lost the “Dream…”?”. One of the items that I didn’t present so well was the need for repentance before God. Jena has been broken, laid bare, before God, and he is healing and bringing a harvest of righteousness.

In this article on Baptist Press, John Yeats reports that the same school gymnasium, host to much of the racial bruhaha in the past year, is the scene of a growing, community-wide, interracial revival. Of a town of 2900 people, crowds exceeding 700 per night have been meeting. It took only two weeks for crowds to outgrow the capacity of the gym; the meetings moving to a larger auditorium in another church.

Leading the way in the revival have been two churches, one white and one black, meeting together, each church’s pastors preaching. Yeats reports:

The Jena community buzzes with the news about the meetings and people are reaching out to each other across racial lines in love and prayer.

In the wake of media reports that the country if falling apart at the seams over race, the home to one of the largest racially heated rallies in recent memory is now experiencing the healing power of the gospel. Only the gospel can overcome the barriers of sin, pride, prejudice and hate caused by racism (of any kind). Can you hear Dr. King in the background:

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

May we all seek the glory of the Lord together, hand in hand, hearts repentant, spirits jubilant, and eyes seeing the beautiful spectrum of color of God’s kingdom! Thank God that he has begun with Jena. If there is hope for Jena, there is hope for us all! Let us find that hope!

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