We’re having a shut-in at Imani this Friday, January 24th, beginning at 8:00 p.m. For those who don’t know, a shut-in is an all-night worship experience in which participants engage in a variety of spiritually edifying activities - prayer, sharing testimonies, Bible lessons, readings from other inspirational literature, singing, listening to music, watching inspirational videos, and whatever else the Holy Spirit inspires in the moment.
I grew up in a church that had shut-ins regularly, once or twice a year, usually at the beginning of the year or in preparation for a revival. Although, occasionally, the congregation was called into a shut-in just because God led the pastor to call the people into a time of intense and focused prayer together. I cannot remember the last time I heard of anyone having a shut-in. I don’t know whether that is because folks aren’t doing it anymore, or I simply haven’t heard of it being done. But I want to explain why I find it to be a completely worthwhile thing to do.
So. Most of us have probably digested our holiday meals, consumed the last of the Christmas cakes, pies, and cookies, returned home from our visits to family and friends, or returned to our at-home routines after visits from them. We have rung in the New Year, packed away the trees, decorations, lights, and gifts; and here we are in 2014! Now what?
There was a time when New Year’s resolutions were popular. But nowadays, I hear more people declaring that they do not make resolutions than I hear talking about making them. Honestly, I never had much success at sticking to them. By the end of January, in most cases, I had given up on them. So I am among those who did not make any New Year’s resolutions this year, except one - the same one I’ve made every year for as long as I can remember.