Friday, February 11, 2011

Moody Women (by Judy)

Have you ever driven up LaSalle Avenue in Chicago? I have numerous times, because my son graduated from Northwestern University. LaSalle was the street to take from downtown. Not much of note – nothing to get my attention. That was because I simply did not know the startling fact that on that nondescript strip of urban life lies holy ground. The Moody Bible Institute.

Dwight Lyman Moody was an American evangelist of the 1800s, preaching both in rural fields and villages and the great city of Chicago. He visited Union soldiers on the battlefield during the Civil War and filled tents across Europe. My favorite quote, as you can imagine if you read my summer entry about lighthouses is, We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.

An unfortunate fact about D.L. is that he was born on February 5th. I say “unfortunate” because the institution he founded, The Moody Bible Institute, celebrates his birth each year with Founders Week. All attendees to this fabulous annual event wish his birth had been April, June, September – any time except the season when blizzards prevail in the Windy City. However, the legions of supporters are undaunted and are rewarded with inspirational teaching, sublime concerts, and union in worship that is surely a foretaste of heaven.

However, the greatest blessing, the reason for saying this institution sits on holy ground, is the students – generations of committed followers of Jesus, waves of young people, who arrive as freshmen planning on some kind of fulltime ministry after graduation. Their tuition is funded from outside, an amazing generosity from faithful supporters. There are numerous D.L. quotes to guide these students today - I know the Bible is inspired because it inspires me. Faith makes all things possible... love makes all things easy. A good example is far better than a good precept. Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me.

If you can make it even once to Founders Week, you will be mightily blessed – by the city of Chicago itself; by those sitting around you warmed by anoraks, wooly hats and scarves, and the Spirit; by the words and the Word, by soaring instrumentals and hand-clapping Fanny Crosby gospel music – and above all, by the inescapable conclusion that you are watching God at work among the next generation of His saints.

1 comment:

  1. "Where one man reads the Bible a hundred read you and me." This is so applicable to all those students who greeted, guided, and ushered us into events throughout the weekend. They are God's servants whose smiles were warm and whose help and conversation reflected His glory!