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Please respond to jodi with 150 words :

One Distinctive element from the first great awakening that I find interesting is that there was a collective yearning of people for the inner reality of the presence of God. After centuries of trying to connect with God through religious observance and ritual, people began to desire more in their lives. Yet one thing that keeps us from God is that we view him as someone pure, holy and somewhat untouchable. I believe this is where Johnathan Edwards came in and acknowledged the sins and shortcoming of man and man’s guilt and feelings of due judgment (Edwards preached Hell) and then moved them to a forgiving and merciful God. This all turned man to stronger dedication to God and seeking his presence and direction.

The second great awakening led to Charles Finney and while I have heard of his preaching and the overall message I was greatly surprised and encouraged in his work in social justice. He preached and worked for child labor laws, women’s rights and the ending of slavery. These things we now take for granted but we all benefit from them, as well as our children.

The third great awakening brought even greater ideas on social justice and reformation in the greater community. The Social Gospel Movement brought changes in the working hours, public education, education, health and food for poorer neighborhoods. This awakening led the way to open one’s sphere of influence and to open our eyes to those around us and see if we could improve the lives of others. It preached doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.

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