As a former youth pastor, something about staying up all night at church with friends seems like a good idea on paper. Of course, the next day, you’ll be napping or sleeping on and off all day. Nonetheless, a church lock-in is the first event I ever attended in high school at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Between all the games and group activities, I was introduced to the concept fellowshipping all night long. While new friends came and left, I ended up sticking around as a volunteer throughout college.
Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed there all night. And in the morning they arose, and he said. Send me away to my master, Genesis 24:54.
Moses tells a story about a dinner feast that lasted all night long as well. Perhaps, this was the first ever rehearsal dinner for a wedding. The only problem is the groom, and his family was not present, just Eliezer, the executive of Abraham’s estate. Prior to eating, Eliezer recounts his journey, prayer and divine meeting, with Rebekah. The tone set by Eliezer opens the door for family members to share accounts of Rebekah’s childhood, life and her relationships with other members of the family.
And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled together to break bread [[a]the Lord’s Supper], Paul discoursed with them, intending to leave the next morning; and he kept on with his message until midnight. 8 Now there were numerous lights in the upper room where we were assembled, 9 And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting in the window. He was borne down with deep sleep as Paul kept on talking still longer, and [finally] completely overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him and embraced him, saying, Make no ado; his life is within him. 11 When Paul had gone back upstairs and had broken bread and eaten [with them], and after he had talked confidentially and communed with them for a considerable time—until daybreak [in fact]—he departed, Acts 20:7-11.
If you have ever attended a Christian conference, retreat or spiritual revival, the Holy Spirit tends to draw people close together in a short period of time. This is often expediated as individuals become vulnerable by confessing sins, opening up about something personal or sharing their testimony. During a gathering of Christians at one home, the apostle Paul speaks all night long, causing one teenager to fall asleep. While some daily conversations can be extremely boring, fellowshipping all night long about God ignites a fire in souls that binds believers together in perfect harmony.
by Jay Mankus