As I have said somewhere before I work across from the local public library and I am over there quite a bit checking out audio books. I started a new one this week.
John Paul the Great : Remembering a Spiritual Father by Peggy Noonan. It is turning out to be a pretty good book.
The thing I want to comment on now about this book is her narrative about when John Paul went to Poland after he became Pope. It sturrs may heart thinking about it. I can not imagine being there.
I managed to find a link to an article that Peggy wrote about it so I do not have to recite the account from memory: http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110006523
Here is the part that struck me and the part that I believe is relevant to us today in the American Christian church.
In the face of the Communist government and to the crowd of ‘more than a million’ John Paul gave a call to the people, people who had been under an atheistic government. He said to the crowd of over a million:
The people of Poland, he suggested, had been chosen for a great role, to understand, humbly but surely, that they were the repository of a special "witness of His cross and His resurrection." He asked then if the people of Poland accepted the obligations of such a role in history.
The crowd responded with thunder.
"We want God!" they shouted, together. "We want God!"
What a moment in modern history: We want God. From the mouths of modern men and women living in a modern atheistic dictatorship.
The pope was speaking on the Vigil of Pentecost, that moment in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit came down to Christ's apostles, who had been hiding in fear after his crucifixion, filling them with courage and joy. John Paul picked up this theme. What was the greatest of the works of God? Man. Who redeemed man? Christ. Therefore, he declared, "Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude. . . . The exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man! Without Christ it is impossible to understand the history of Poland." Those who oppose Christ, he said, still live within the Christian context of history.
Christ, the pope declared, was not only the past of Poland--he was "the future . . . our Polish future."
The massed crowd thundered its response. "We want God!" it roared.
How does this pertain to us in America today? We are not under communism and we have freedom of religion.
Today in America we Christians are under the tyranny of the Secular. Our freedom to express our faith in the public is being challenged with the very laws that were created to preserve our freedom. We are closer to the people of Poland than you might think.
So what can we learn from John Paul and the Polish crowd? How do we stop the slide of America to Secularism? How do we bring revival to the church? Christians must cry with one voice, ‘We Want God!’ The cry must be loud enough to ignite passion in the hearts of the ‘casual Christian’. The cry must be loud enough to drowned out the ones who want to remove all public displays of faith.
The prayer of Jesus that ‘…those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.’ needs to happen here in America. Sometime I wonder if ‘Denominalation-ization’ (NEW WORD?) of the church has done more harm than good. Yes, the Reformation needed to happen. But I think we got lost somewhere. We can not see the forest for the trees anymore.
Correct doctrine is a must but I think man’s pride and stubbornness broke the pursuit of it somewhere. I think it is ok to be unsure of things. Maybe God wants us to be a little unsure of things so that we never think we got it all figured out.
Maybe this is what is stirring in that hearts of some, this want to cry out in unity and with one voice “We Want God!” so all can hear and take notice.
To truly make a difference.