02 Mar Beyond the Pandemic
It is almost a year since the Coronavirus pandemic changed our world in so many different ways. As we entered the first lockdown I would never had expected to still be in lockdown 11 months after the first. There is much speculation on the long term impact of what we are going through, how society will change and how church will change. I don’t know the answers to what the world will look like post pandemic but I do know that my hope for the future is grounded in the promises of God.
When we look at the longer term impact of the Spanish flu pandemic at the end of the Great War the world entered a period that was known as the roaring twenties, a period of prosperity, innovation and cultural change. In the UK however this coincided with the ministry of the Jeffreys brothers who had great impact across the United Kingdom. Here are some extracts from reports on what was happening around the UK at this time.
Liverpool – ‘Revival Fires are burning in Liverpool. Hundreds have been saved and there have been many remarkable healings. Remarkable scenes of religious fervour are being witnessed at the chapel in Windsor Street. Hundreds of people had to be turned away from yesterday’s services. Queues began to assemble outside the chapel two hours before the meeting commenced. As soon as the doors were open crowds began to clamour for admission, choking the aisles and every available inch of space. A crowd just as large could not gain admission and had to remain outside.’
Swansea – ‘Miracles of healing of the most amazing character took place. The blind received their sight; cripples threw away their crutches; the deaf answered questions; withered and twisted arms were raised, and there were many other remarkable cures from heart trouble, rheumatism, neuritis, paralysis, ruptures, haemorrhages and other complaints.’
Hull – ‘One woman told of nineteen long years of suffering through paralysis, but when anointed by Pastor Jeffreys she was completely healed. One of the cases which excited most interest was that of a young man whose condition was pitiable in the extreme. Paralysed in almost every limb and unable to speak intelligibly, he was as helpless as a child. What a change was wrought in him. I remember so well the evening when, full of new life, he swung his arms above his head and then in the exuberance of his joy jumped again and again, demonstrating the reality of his healing.’
Leeds – ‘During the laying on of hands, a middle-aged woman who was kneeling stood up and cried: “I can see! I can read!” Then, trembling with awe, she read aloud the words of the printed text above her head. Afterwards, she told [Jeffreys] that she had been almost totally blind for years, that she could not distinguish objects owing to a ball of fire in front of her eyes, but the moment his hands touched her, the ball of fire was taken away. A girl, deaf for eleven years, was now hearing all that was said to her in the lowest of voices.’ (Yorkshire Evening Post of 7 April 1927)
Exeter – ‘Most remarkable of all, though, was the case of a young girl born without eyes. George Jeffreys prayed several times over her: “Lord Jesus, give this little girl her eyes, just now!” Eye-witness Amos Pike tells what happened next: “Suddenly, this girl was looking at us – with two beautiful, big blue eyes!”
Birmingham – ‘Even sceptical policemen, whose duty it is to regulate the throng, have been swept off their feet by what they have seen and heard. One night two girls, one blind and the other dumb [mute], inquired of the officer nearby their way to the service. An hour or so later he was amazed when the couple returned to him, literally dancing for joy, the dumb girl speaking and the blind girl seeing.’
Whilst these reports are encouraging in themselves let us be encouraged to look to God to move again in our nation in power and compassion. Whatever the world looks like post pandemic one thing that will not change is the world’s need of Jesus. We are His ambassadors and have been given the ministry of reconciliation, which is to see people reconciled with God through Jesus. God is calling us to share His love to the world around us. We have the wonderful privilege of sharing the love of Jesus with a lost and dying world. Let us work together to reach Wales with both the love and message of Jesus.
I look forward to seeing you all in the not too distant future.