Something I heard Duncan Campbell say once in a sermon came to mind a moment ago, so even though you should all be in bed by now (UK time), I thought I would just “blog” and share it without saying too much. He once defined revival as “the impact of the personality of Christ.” It got me wondering what a life looks like, what a church looks like, what leadership looks like, what mission looks like that has been impacted by the personality of Christ; what does it sound like, feel like? What does it look like to have our own personalities impacted by His? As I mused, the fire burned…
I remember being in a Christian campsite once in the West of Scotland and smelling the fragrance of Christ; I never asked for that experience, it just happened. All I know is that it was utterly beautiful, and I longed to smell it again and over the next few nights visited the same spot on the campsite, but I never did …. but then it is not an “it” it is a “Him.” “It” is one of the things that has happened in some revivals in times past, even in Scotland. I remember the late Rev. Jack MacArthur being moved when he spoke at CLAN Gathering because he smelled the same fragrance that he had known in revival days. I long to encounter such beauty again! The impact of the personality of Christ whatever else it may invovle, is an impact that makes you long above everything else for Him, just for Him above every other aspect of Christian living and Service; beyond even every God given vision and calling that we may be faithfully attending to: He makes everything that the world and a worldy church with worldly ways and methods and goals chases after seem so lifeless, dead and pointless and even rather ugly looking by comparison. “Oh when shall I behold Him?” He really is, as we sung a few years ago now, “beautiful beyond description, too marvellous for words, too wonderful for comprehension, like nothing ever seen or heard…” I found myself singing that as I walked on a quiet beach not long ago. It seemed to say what I was longing to say. It seemed to keep me out of the picture apart from saying, “I stand, I stand in awe of you…” Oh at times I have hated the focus of attention that being a minister/leader/conference speaker/CLAN leader brought to me…WHEN, WHEN, WHEN WILL WE GET OUT THE WAY ENOUGH TO LET THE PERSONALITY OF CHRIST IMPACT US ALL? GOD DELIVER US FROM OUR FASCINATION WITH PERSONALITIES OTHER THAN THE PERSONALITY OF CHRIST.
Bruce Collins, one of the very best church leaders I have ever met, used to lead the International work of New Wine and is now deeply invovled in New Wine Wales. He said in a sermon once that Jesus is the most beautiful person he knows. He said it with a voice slighly breaking with emotion. I have never forgotten the simplicity and the integrity of that moment. The impact of the personality of Christ….
My Dad used to love Harry Secombe’s singing voice; indeed he thought he was Harry Secombe! I remember hearing Harry Secombe singing a song on a rather scrathcy LP that seemed to be played ad nauseam in my childhood home: “The Lost chord.” It was about an organist who struck a certain magnificent chord while playing randomly and feeling weary and ill at ease… and he could never find it again. I wonder if there is a lost beauty in Christ that we are in danger of forgetting about in our modern day church angst about church, and where it is heading and how it needs to change and so on…
Let me ask you if you are a parish minister, do you know enough about the beauty of Jesus to speak about him every Sunday Morning of your ministry, or do you need to fall back into using (misusing?) Sundays to mobiize the church towards something other than Jesus Himself?
I am still frightened of a vision I had once before I spoke at a conference of Jesus “waiting in the wings” while everyone and everything else took centre stage and took the applause. I know when a vision comes from God and not just from myself; I cannot change it, no matter how hard I try to imagine it differently: I have never been able to change this awful sight of of Jesus in the wings and everything being brought to an end before He was even allowed to come on stage. Maybe the problem is that if we let Him take the highest honour, no one would want anything but Him. Our ministries, our worship leading, our preaching would not be as sought after, in fact we might not be able to minister, we might be out the picture, no part to play, forgotten about. Our theories and talk might look a bit like the Emperor with no clothes. When I was involved along with others in leading CLAN Gathering, we had some unspoken rules that guided our invitations to speakers: they had to have scars; in other words they could not just be speakers, but needed to be people who had done the stuff and paid the price; they couldn’t just be experts going round the conference scene with wonderful sermons and stories and some theories to share. I had another rule which I kept a little more secret: I would only ask speakers who in my heart I knew would not mind if they spoke or not during the week when they were with us. Many wonderful speakers were never asked to CLAN, though their presence and names on a programme could have boosted the numbers! If Christ’s personality impacted a meeting, all eyes would be upon Him, everyone would desire Him and fall at his feet overwhelmed….or hate Him with deadlly, jealous, all consuming hatred. By His impact the hearts of many are revealed…
While your readers in the UK were tucked up in bed I was able to read it hot of the press down under so thanks again for sharing Kenny.
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revkennyblog posted: “Something I heard Duncan Campbell say once in a sermon came to mind a moment ago, so even though you should all be in bed by now (UK time), I thought I would just “blog” and share it without saying too much. He once defined revival as “the impact of the p”
When when will we get out of the way to let the beauty of Christ Impact us all?
I do not see that we can stand in the way of the Beauty of Christ For it is clear that He shines.l do not see that we have power over His plan and timing. I am given responsibility not to hide His in me light and allow the light to shine for all to see. No more no less. I see that we have made a parade a procession of lights to gather interest rather than lighting up where we are in dark corners. The procession of light joins to be led or lead but the beautiful light just shines.
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Here is that wonderful preaching annointing breaking out! Praise God the Holy Spirit is not confined by any circumstance 🙂 Morag
Hi Kenny. Just been catching up on a few of your blogs and wanted to say “thank you!” I’ve said at the beginning of our concerts a few times now that if the real presence of Jesus was to show up it wouldn’t matter too much how good we sang as there is nothing to replace the real sense of His presence. In other words we would all be so taken up or caught up with Him that anything else going on would be rather insignificant – especially my singing!! On saying that I’ll still look to Him for more songs as long as He wants me to be ministering through music! 😊 It’s great how he still loves to use us to minister to each other. Praise His wonderful Name!! On that note – I’d like to send you a couple of cd’s as a gift if that’s ok with you? Just email me your address and I’ll send them to you. Blessings on you bro, Michael
May God continue to bless you and may you encourage others always to long for the real presence of Jesus! Will email you. thanks for your kindness and thoughtfulness.
We were touched and blessed at the fryday yesterday, as we shared your blog and wept together with brothers from holy trinity, Barclay, and Currie.