An Eternity of Fellowship

During the eighteenth century, there was a movement in Scottish Presbyterianism that became dissatisfied with the church hierarchy, poverty, and lack of ministers. Their solution was to hold week-long meetings called Communion Seasons where several parishes would gather in the open air and spend time together feasting, listening to sermons, and celebrating the Lord's Supper. In the nineteenth century, immigrants from Scotland brought this tradition to the United States. On the frontier, neighbors were scarce and churches were scarcer. Ministers from different denominations would announce that they would hold a religious meeting at a certain place and all the people around would gather to hear preaching and singing. These became known as Camp Meetings and they were an integral part of the Second Great Revival that swept the United States during the 1800's. Several churches still keep the tradition going, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

I am on the campus of Highland Academy, just north of Nashville, for the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference Camp Meeting as I type this. I am gathered with all the pastors in our conference as well as many lay people who gather for a whole week to hear preaching and singing and fellowship with one another. Every time I experience something like this, my mind goes to this verse in Isaiah. "'And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,' says the Lord" (Isaiah 66:23). Camp meetings are a shadow, a small taste of an eternity of fellowship to come. Aren't you so excited for that day?