Glencairn Methodist Church
First and second Chronicles are probably among the least read books in the Bible. They largely re-tell the stories of the Kings of Judah and Israel from Saul to the time of the exile. But they were written for a particular purpose. Scholars suggest that they were composed around 400 BC, about the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, with the particular aim of encouraging the small Jewish community that had returned from exile in Babylon, and which was finding life difficult. They had no king, they were not an independent state, they were part of the Persian Empire, and they needed a bigger vision to give them hope for the future. God was still their God and they His people. Israel's history, with its great story of deliverance from slavery in Egypt, was their history. And the future with God was their future. There are many passages in Chronicles that are not in 1st and 2nd Samuel and 1st and 2nd Kings for this purpose .
One such passage is 2 Chronicles 7:14 - "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." In other words, no matter what bad things are happening to individuals and society, God promises forgives and healing to His people who turn to Him in repentance and faith.
Whey am I mentioning this right now? Well, 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the "Great 1859 Revival in Ulster", and Brother David Jardine SSF of Divine Healing Ministries is calling Christians to commit to seven years of prayer for revival in Ireland - revival that starts with the individual and spreads throughout society, as did the 1895 Revival which started in the village of Kells in Country Antrim.
The strategy for revival is clearly set up in 2 Chronicles 7:14 -
If my people who are called by my name - (we are called Christ-ians!) -
Then, God promises
Revival has been described as "the inrush of the Spirit into the body that threatens to become a corpse." 
In what ways does our land, our world, need revival Very obviously we need to deal with pollution and global warming, with hunger and disease, with oppression and war, with greed and selfishness, and with injustice.
And in what ways does our church need revival? A church before the 1895 Revival was described by its minister as "altogether Laodicean"  - a reference to one of the Churches in Asia Minor described in Revelation 3:16 as "lukewarm, neither hot nor cold." Is you church like this? Has it lost its fire, its early enthusiasm? How might we turn this around?
And what about Church Unity? Psalm 133 reminds us "How lovely it is when brothers live together in unity. It is like precious oil poured on the head." And if you don't fancy oil being poured over you, think how a dab of Chanel No5 behind a woman's ears or a splash of Armani on a bloke's face sets a person up for the day! What can we do to promote Christian Unity?
Dear Reader, revival starts with you!
6 October 2009
 Grace Emmerson, Guidelines Sep-Dec 2007 and Sep-Dec 2005, Bible Reading Fellowship
 DM Panton, The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations, Westminster John Knox, 2001 and on line
 Keith Malcomson, The 1859 Ulster Revival, http://www.pentecostalpioneers.org/1859UlsterRevival.html, accessed 6 October 2009
NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at http://glencairn.connor.anglican.org/previousmessages.htm