My housemate has recently retrieved some of her belongings from storage (it seems to be a theme in our household at the moment!). Amongst these things were some Delirious CDs from the ‘90’s. Having lost all mine several years ago in a moment of generosity I have been loving listening to cutting edge 1-4. It’s taking me back to a very special time in our journey.
Do you remember the mid 90’s in the UK? Holy Spirit was doing some very special stuff amongst his people, bringing refreshing and restoration, despite all the angst over Pensacola and Toronto! Stoneleigh and Soul Survivor took off, Alpha spread like wild fire. Amongst my friends at Uni there was a real hunger for an authentic ‘Monday morning’ faith with teeth; one that was practical, powerful, challenging and life changing without religiosity. We began praying for the city and the universities, we pressed in to seek God in new and different expressions of worship, we took over night clubs to reach out to our mates.
In the midst of all that, Delirious emerged role modelling corporate worship as an expression of lives sold out for Christ and making a difference. They galvanised the Christian young adult population in a move to impact their generation through the secular music scene. They became a prophetic voice not only taking a stand and speaking into some of the current affairs of the time, but also calling out us Christians to a life of radical faith that cost. It was an exciting time to be alive and pursuing Christ; a time when for us we were tapping into the social myth of our nation – that part of us that was made to courageously stand for what is right and godly.
For the last couple of days I have been helping to facilitate a weekend with the national team I work with here in the UK. Through the process we have been engaging with the redemptive, God story of the UK down the centuries till now, naming some of the moments and areas where we can see God’s fingerprints and his nature expressed. One of the things I am most proud of is our heritage of individuals and groups who were willing to take on the whole of society, standing for justice for the oppressed in the name of Christ. There have been many occasions where society has been turned around in a single generation because men and women compelled by Christ’s love and life said enough was enough. This is all part of the social myth that forms the heartbeat of our nation. I find it fascinating too that there seems to be something inherent in our nature that means whatever happens here has significant impact beyond our boarders. When we are at our best we feel the weight of responsibility not just for our own but also for the wellbeing of others.
As I look over the last few decades I see something brewing. Our nation, the continent and the world are looking for real answers to a pretty confronting reality. There is a call going out, requiring Christ followers to rise up within all sectors of society, count the cost and stand against the tide; in meekness and power restoring the godly values that will turn society around, bringing life and wholeness back to every layer. The likes of Delirious did it in their time, they gave us a small glimpse of what may be asked of us, others through the corridors of history, heroes of the faith like Wesley, Wilberforce and Shaftesbury all cheer us on from the grandstands as we take our positions at the starting blocks. In one sense we stand on the shoulders of giants, in another sense we stand alone, it’s our turn, how will we run I wonder?