We hear that Passion is coming to Pretoria. I’m in front of the online queue punching in the numbers on my plastic because I want to be part of the Something That Happens when thousands gather on thirsty ground to pray for rain on our nation.
Wednesday goes from hot and busy to sublime spring twilight. I’m quietly, desperately expectant.
Ready to lose myself in worship: check.
Hungry for the Word: check.
We pick up Ross and Tracy and head for Centurion and they don’t mind that Murray’s backseat is severely toddlerised.
Around the stadium the cell towers are jammed and we can’t find Lauren who is with Shirl or Paul who is in traffic. No worries. It’s chilled. People smile their way in. This is Africa. There’s no way they’ll start on time.
We find each other and a bunch of other people we know and thousands we don’t. The lights of the Gautrain burn past and the city is noise and life beyond this holy ground.
On a scale of mediocre to U2, the cricket grounds are transformed into something close to the latter. But this is no rock concert. The worship is tangible liquid all-about-Jesus poetry and the music speaks when the words can’t. I’m humbled by Tomlin, Nockels and the rest: uncontrived, unpretentious. Levites just pointing to a big God. They deflect deflect deflect the glory.
And thousands sing over the city into the night for His fame and I’m reminded that there’s hope. I’m praying especially that these young(er) people who are loving on Jesus so hard and sincere won’t have the vision argued out of them by old(er) nay-sayers who are too tepid, too churched.
Louie Giglio talks but you don’t really see him because he’s just humble passion deflecting deflecting deflecting the glory. What echoes loud across the crowd and then rests quietly is that if My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land because we were dead and now we are alive and we are the generation rising up to take our place because You’re the God of this city and Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me and greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done here because we’ll be that city on a hill burning brightly and we’ll be a light to the world shining Your glory. And what if we were really to carry the Name and what if people all over this city really started talking about Jesus…
And then it’s Thursday and in three hours I have five conversations about Jesus and I think: