I will not argue if God speaks today or not. Much of what He says to us is through His Word, the Bible, however, I do believe there are other ways to hear His voice. As I picked up the old vinyl albums and placed them in a safe place, I still had the Jesus Expo '72 running through my head. What did it all mean? I placed my thoughts aside with a "Thank you Lord, for faithful servants." Then we rented a movie.
Woodlawn - just the name brings back memories. I was a pre-teen in 1972, yet I can recall vividly my memories of that Christmas season. In our small part of Austin, Texas was a growing, on-fire, light-up-the-world for Christ youth group. I am sure many probably attended the Jesus Expo in Dallas in 1972. The name of the church was WOODLAWN. December of 1972 the large youth group was headed to New Mexico for a ski trip. They had prayer coverage from the church and others who knew many of the youth. They left Austin in two school buses...................the rest is history, know all over the world. There were 17 youth and two adults, who left this world to be with Christ.
Our phone began to ring, the news came through the television and tears of horror were felt in my family. Although none of my family members were on the buses, many of my family friend"s teenagers were. I remember the tears as each death was reported and those who were fine were being flown home. The relief to know our close friend's son was fine, while also grieving over the loss of so many, marked me for life.
When I mentioned to my husband I wanted to see the movie Woodlawn, he assumed it was about the wreck. He had been invited on the trip, but decided not to go, so his memories are stronger than mine. I assured him "No!", that it was about a football team, however, I didn't know how the events of 1972 would be the backdrop of this movie.
I will not tell all of the true story, but I will tell you where God grabbed my attention. The football team was from a school named Woodlawn, a school that was dealing with racial tension, as the mixture of races were forced to play football. During the beginning of their football season a man asked to talk to the team. He started his speech telling about his experience at Jesus Expo '72.
What? You have got to be kidding? There is Jesus Expo '72 again.
His talk with the team lead to the whole team becoming sold out for Christ. The rest of the team's story is history. The story is inspiring.
The movie closes with actual films from the Jesus Expo '72 and music from the album I had rediscovered during our vinyl playing of "oldies but goodies" Christmas morning. It goes on to tell about coming event to the Dallas area, Harvest America. At this posting there is over 1000 churches joining together to put on this one day event.
Okay........................that was it! I am going!! I will be there!! I am praying.
Woodlawn will always be the church bus wreck to me and how God's grace and healing came to our city. The movie showed me that even in that name (Woodlawn), God was working.
My first two children were dedicated to Lord by the pastor who was the pastor of the church Woodlawn, in Austin, Texas. He guided his congregation through their grief and continued to pastor a growing body of believers. Again, more of my spiritual heritage. I just feel the Lord says, "look, I am still working, don't miss it!" An album and a movie drove that part home. I know I am weird to many, but then again, I think the Lord works in ways that don't always make sense. The events of today can be discouraging, yet HE is still on the throne. I am looking forward to Sunday and taking our younger boys to see this move of God. To also remember that God isn't finished yet, and there is more to come, as we bow our knees and pray.
*Sonja of Bits and Pieces let me know she was in attendance at Jesus Expo '72, the final night at the Cotton Bowl. Her father had lead groups through out the city. How neat is that? Maybe one day she will share her experience. Thank you all for sharing your experiences! Although I am sure some got "catch up" in the movement, I rest in the fact that God is the one who sifts through all of that. For now, I am seeing the many faithful seeds that were sown and the fruit of them decades later.