John 17:21-23 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
The Moravian revival, our current subject, began in the little community of Herrnhut on August 13, 1727, with a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit likened to that of Acts 2. It was a work of God that would transform this group of splintered Christian settlers into a unified missionary endeavor committed to reaching the unsaved around the world.
To that end, the “Moravian Revival” established a prayer meeting that would last around the clock for over 100 years. That day, community members departed the church meeting in holy awe, “hardly knowing whether they belonged to earth or had already gone to Heaven.”
Their recorded description of this experience:
“We saw the hand of God and his wonders, and we were all under the cloud of our fathers baptized with their Spirit. The Holy Ghost came upon us and in those days great signs and wonders took place in our midst. From that time scarcely did we beheld His almighty workings amongst us. A great hunger after the Word of God took possession of us so that we had to have three services every day. Everyone desired above everything else that the Holy Spirit might have full control. Self-love and self-will as well as disobedience disappeared and an overwhelming flood of grace swept us all out into the great ocean of Divine Love.”
Years later, Zinzendorf spoke of the event, “We needed to come to the communion with a sense of the loving nearness of the Savior. This was the great comfort which has made this day a generation ago to be a festival, because on this day twenty-seven years ago the Congregation of Herrnhut assembled for communion (at the Berthelsdorf church) were all dissatisfied with themselves. They had quit judging each other because they had become convinced, each one, of his lack of worth in the sight of God and each felt himself at this communion to be in view of the noble countenance of the Savior.
What changed this community was a holy and piercing inspection of their lives in the light of Almighty God – a devotion to each other despite their differences – and a passion for the commission that God gave them.
May we too learn such humility and know such passion…