God has been speaking to me about the Jesus Movement the last couple of months, and I’m planning to do some deeper research of this renewal when I get the time. For you who aren’t aware of it, it sprang up mainly among saved hippies in the 60’s and 70’s and spread from the US to Europe. The Jesus People, or Jesus Freaks as they gladly called themselves, were passionate charismatics who preached the Gospel in the power of signs and wonders while many of them also were pacifist peacemakers and radical supporters of social justice – many of them practiced community of goods. In other words, it was a Holy Spirit Activism movement!
As I read and watch clips about the Jesus Movement, I get the impression of a theology that is in all ways charismatically evangelical, but expressed in a very attractive and simple way. A review of a book about the movement simply dubbed it “sweetness”. I like that! The Jesus Freaks were radical, zealous and crazy, but above all that also very sweet.
I encountered this sweetness in another context two days ago in Stockholm, Sweden. My friend had invited me to a prayer meeting that he hosted together with a travelling team from Iris Global. Iris Global is, as those of you who follow this blog should know by now, also a movement that combines signs and wonders with social justice, and these folks were no exception.
After having a wonderful time of worship together some of the Iris people started to share what God had put on their hearts. And it was so sweet! Radical, passionate, crazy and sweet. It was about love, grace, discipleship, miracles and a lot of joy and happiness.
Then it struck me. Iris is the Jesus Movement of our time. It really is. Not in that it’s identical, but almost. It’s the same passion for signs and wonders combined with peace and justice, it’s the same simplicity, passion and joy, and while they are truly orthodox in terms of theology they make sure to frame their belief in a pleasant scent of sweetness.
Wow, I just love them so much!