I grew up in a little traditional church in a small village and knew very little about the church outside of my box. For that reason, I was quite phased at a giant Christian music festival called Ichthus when the pastor on stage said he had a dream that it would rain at our festival unless we all started getting our lives together. He nervously, but boldly choked out these words, knowing that the message was not a positive one and that some would think him crazy for preaching about a dream he had.
I was completely thrown off by this. God didn’t still speak in dreams, did he? What this guy just said sounded like something a prophet might say, but prophets weren’t around anymore, right? I had never seen anything like this at my church and I was both deeply intrigued and confused. As a kid, I always wanted to be a prophet because they had the ability to see the unknown, dream dreams, have visions, perform miracles, and actually hear God’s voice—and for a budding Christian, that was the dream. Who wouldn’t want to know and experience God on that level? But that wasn’t possible, right?
This guy broke my box. He was either a false prophet or he was telling the truth.
Please note that this was a long time ago, so I’m working with my memory in the rest of this post the best I can here, but I’m fairly certain it began to rain that night. I seem to recall asking others if they had heard what the man on stage had said and what they thought about the sudden change in weather.
The next year my favorite festival might as well have been ruined. My friends and I renamed the gathering “Mudthus.” We pulled up to our camping site as rain poured down and an eerie worship song about rain played over the radio, reminding me of the man’s dream. We duct taped our shoes in attempts to preserve them from the massive amounts of mud. We shoved church vans out of the mud as their wheels spun out and splattered us with mud. Everything was mud.
I don’t remember returning to the festival too many times after that. I believe my friends who returned said that there was more rain. Eventually, I think the festival even changed its dates in attempts to avoid the rain, but eventually the whole event died out.
“Do not quench the Spirit,” says Paul. “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
What might have happened if we had listened back then?
Today’s liturgical devotion is based off of the themes of Thessalonians 5:12-28, found at CommonPrayer.net.