Seeking to know Jesus and make Him known in Stevenage

The Fading Legacy of Revival on Lewis… and a reason the church fails to grow today.

Just over a week ago Judy and I returned from a holiday in the far north and west of Scotland. For 2 days we crossed over to the Isle of Lewis, part of the Outer Hebrides.  During the early 1950s there was a dramatic move of God on the island, a real time of revival, when many people came to faith for the 1st time, and many other former-believers were brought back into a living relationship with Jesus. So I was interested to see if I could find someone who had lived through it.

I thought we had a hit with our landlady. She had lived on the island all her life and her parents (who would have been of the right age) had lived in one of the small villages where revival came. But to my surprise she knew nothing about it.  I was shocked! Lewis is a small island; Christianity is deeply embedded into the culture of the Outer Hebrides, and the revival in the early 50s transformed island life and filled the churches. Even up to a few years ago, some churches in Stornoway, the island capital, had over a thousand people attending each Sunday.  How could she not have known?  How could no one have told her?  How could a woman, growing up in the most Christian part of Britain, not be exposed to the Christian faith?

There’s only one answer.  The only reason people don’t hear about Jesus is because Christians don’t speak about Jesus.  Sometimes we see people living ‘good’ lives and make the assumption that they already know about Jesus. But good works cannot save, and far too many people have never heard the gospel.

Sometimes we know that people did once hear and believe the truth, but have fallen away, so we can make the assumption that there is no use speaking to them again. Except that all of Jesus’ disciples fell away, and he didn’t give up on them.  Sometimes people just need to hear the truth again from someone they trust.

What I do know is that all of us who follow Jesus as our Lord and Saviour are commanded to tell others about him.  Some won’t believe. Some will reject the gospel, and perhaps reject us. But that’s between them and God.  Our job is to speak about the one who has saved us and given us eternal life.  Will you?