Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Let the Little Children Come to Me


Standing in front of 200 or so people, most of whom I have known since the Seventies, was thrilling. There were people in attendance to honor Deb and Tom that had been out of my life and memory for thirty or forty years.

Thanks to Michael Cristiani and Barb Hine for http://Lovedebsmith.blogspot.com. These old friends got the word from the blog that Deb was ill and needed our love and support. When she passed into the realm of God's eternal reality they were there to weep over our loss and rejoice over our hope.

It was a trip just seeing people like Randy Moody whose Gospel song, The Kingdom, was written decades ago yet fit perfectly for Deb's Day of Resurrection. He, Don Patton, Rick Hine and the Madeira boys had disturbed the peace at many Christian Churches and now act almost like grown ups as they sport a bit of gray in their hair.

Marcus O'Hara, Terry Fisher and Kent Oder reminded us of the great fun and the powerful days of the Mt. Healthy Jesus House. Where did the days and all the long hair go? (Terry still wears velvet jackets like a Rolling Stone.)

When God decided to pour out His Spirit on sons and daughters, old men and young men, servants and savants he decided to do it during the Decade of the Hippies. Had it been up to one of the conservative pastors of my youth it would have fallen only on graduates of Moody Bible College or another similarly straight laced group.

But, God being the sovereign Lord of the universe and full of all kinds of surprises, did it His way. He selected a gaggle of guys and gals with wild eyes and wilder hair. These were people populating college campuses, high schools and seminaries and were ready to break out of the old ways and old days of churchianity's. The stifling 1930's styles of music, clothing and hair were soon passe and Rock Music, beards and long hair were in.

Tradition has it that the very first Rock and Roll record ever recorded was cut right here in Cincinnati. Now we know that such a radical thing will never be reported by the New York Times or Rolling Stone. Those kinds of facts are not seen as "News that is fit to print."

Cincinnati has been a hot bed of revival ever since the Restoration Movement. That huge outpouring of the Holy Spirit boiled over from Cane Ridge, KY and moved north to the river and seven hills. There they built the Cincinnati Bible Seminary and joined the movement to free the slaves. The college and seminary on Price's Hill serve as a monument to the educational side but most have forgotten the role of the Restoration Movement and people like Barton Stone to the Emancipation of slaves.

Many of the young men and women who were zapped by the Holy Spirit back in the Sixties and Seventies came here for school and created many of the current styles of music and outreach. Randy Matthews cut that first Jesus Movement record and other locals went on to write and sing love songs to Jesus for years to come. We were just spiritual children back then

At the old FCC Worship Center last Sunday we came together. Even after all those years we still joined in the singing and praise as though we had never left the house church on Jefferson or the House of the Carpenter on Ravine. It was so sweet to sing of Jesus and His love.

Thank you Lord for salvation,the of fellowship and reunions. Thank you for allowing old folks like Karen and me to be included among the gaggle of Boomers. Thanks for allowing us to know your presence and enjoy the fellowship. Thanks for bringing us into the Fourth Great Awakening with so many other great people.

2 comments:

MarcO said...

I have a few minutes on the computer until the Queen of the Keyboard makes me log off.

Here is a little known fact about Christianity in Cincinnati. Did you know that Oswald Chambers was on the faculty of God's Bible College in 1907 prior to WWI? It's true.

It was so nice to see you and Karen. God bless,

Marc O'Hara

Gary Sweeten said...

Marcus, thanks for being there for us. Your blog remarks about Deb and Tom and the early beginnings of the Jesus Movement were a blessings. You have been a friend for many years and I fondly remember when you sang at my installation service. Those great memories are why Deb's Celebration of the Resurrection was so profound.