Jim Denison on Fighting on the Front Lines of Spiritual Awakening

The Civil War ended 155 years ago next month. World War II ended 75 years ago this fall.

In the midst of both horrific conflicts, a spiritual war was being waged as well.

During the Civil War, revival services were common on both sides. Nightly prayer meetings were held in many regiments; tent meetings were filled to overflowing. A Confederate chaplain noted that “scores of men are converted immediately after great battles.” A Pennsylvania soldier wrote, “The fact that I must die became to me living and real.”

A Wall Street Journal article notes that after World War II, “Americans, chastened by the horrors of war, turned to faith in search of truth and meaning. In the late 1940s, Gallup surveys showed more than three-quarters of Americans were members of a house of worship, compared with about half today. Congress added the words ‘under God’ to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. Some would later call this a Third Great Awakening.”

“Virtual cell phone choir” sings “It Is Well with My Soul” 

We are fighting a war today that is just as real as those deadly conflicts.

At a news briefing, President Trump stated that “the peak in death rate” in the pandemic “is likely to hit in two weeks” and announced that the federal government is extending its social-distancing guidelines through April 30.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s foremost infectious disease expert, said that the US could experience “millions of cases” of COVID-19 and “between one hundred thousand and two hundred thousand” deaths in the US based on what “we’re seeing now.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, also said Sunday that the administration is “asking every single governor and every single mayor to prepare like New York is preparing now.” She added, “No state, no metro area will be spared.”

In the face of this crisis, Americans are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in remarkably creative ways.

Some are holding virtual dinner parties. In one, eight households from Nashville to Chicago participated; everyone made pasta with red sauce. A Maryland woman is giving a daily thirty-minute cello concert on her front porch to reconnect with her neighbors.

Teachers are staging car parades where their students live; one in Dallas made national headlines. A couple forced to downsize their wedding was greeted after the ceremony by a parade of guests who were unable to attend.

Members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra gave a socially distanced performance of Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” that I encourage you to hear. And the Nashville Studio Singer Community created a “virtual cell phone choir” to deliver one of the most stirring performances of “It Is Well with My Soul” that I have ever heard.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jim Denison

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