He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
Passion 2012 is held at the Georgia Dome, a venue more accustomed to catering to football fans than 42,000 college-aged, Christian youth.
At the dome, they have a rule about bottled drinks. You can't take the lid back to your seat. Why? Because they have no end of problems with people chucking the tops at others or throwing them onto the field.
I think this is one rule which could have been rescinded for Passion 2012.
Danny and I are more and more amazed with each session we attend. Crowds of these young people wait patiently, quietly in the freezing cold for the doors of the dome to open. When they do, there is no pushing, shoving, or running. They file in in an orderly, mannerly fashion.
As the dome begins to fill, we have to stand up plenteous times for students to get to their seats. We always hear an "excuse me" or "I'm so sorry to make you get up" or "I promise, this is the last time" as he is going to his seat or she is exiting to use the restroom. To a person, every one of these young people is smiling, polite, agreeable.
Each scheduled session begins ten to fifteen minutes later than advertised. There is no booing, no demanding chants, hand-clapping, or foot-stomping. The only signs of restlessness or impatience are expressed in the sporadic flights of paper airplanes, doing "the wave", or lighting the apps on their cellphones which imitate the look of a lighter. What a bedazzling sight that is!
When a band takes the stage, all are up on their feet, eager to sing and clap along with the praise music. Which they do. With incomparable energy.
But, when Pastor Giglio gives his welcome and call to prayer, or when the guest speaker for the session begins his or her presentation, you can hear a pin drop. Hardly a soul leaves their seats. They pay rapt attention. Many take notes.
I have never seen anything like this before . . .
Never been in this enormity of a crowd that wasn't rowdy, boisterous, obnoxious.
I gaze in wonder.
As the mighty hand of God covers this place.
Uniting the many as on in His Holy Name.
All for His great glory . . .
Are you, like these young people, setting a Christ-like example for those you meet today?
Will you pray with me?
We give thanks, Father, for those who minister to our youth, who point them and guide them in Your direction. We pray for them and for this generation they mentor. May Your gracious blessings be upon them always. Amen.
Psalms 18:1-20 or 18:21-50
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