This week has been alot of ‘sorting stuff out’. I had to send in my proposal for my independent learning project this week, and I’ve been sorting out my attachment church. In both cases I am lucky enough to have supervisors who are much wiser and more brilliant then I am. So I’ve been thanking God alot for them this week. (Especially when they buy the coffee!)
I hung out with my sister one afternoon this week and we went to a Frozen Yoghurt place. If you’ve never been to one I can highly recommend it! Think of it like a more interesting version of a Pizza Hut ‘Ice Cream Factory’. All of the Frozen Yoghurt are flavoured and there is so many toppings to be able to customise your yoghurt. I’m still very much enjoying autumn and so mine was autumn themed with pumpkin pie frozen yoghurt and peanut brownies on top. Yum! On the side of the cups there was John 3:16 printed. I know of only a few companies that employ this subtle form of spreading Gods word, Forever 21 uses the same verse on their shopping bags.
I wonder how effective these are for evangelism, but its nice to think that there are people out there who are using their company as a way to evangelise to people.
We were lucky enough this week to have a visit from Rowan Williams who gave a lecture on the importance of Church History and it importance for today. He spoke alot about how in the past the church has let itself get in the way of progress. Of course the Church will never be perfect because people are fallible, but he made a good point about anger. He said that whenever we feel angry about something to do with church we need to ask ourselves ‘Who does this anger serve?’. (If only we all did that a little more often how different the church would be!)
Oddly, I think it was quite a pertinent talk for me at the time. I’m still trying to work out this whole community living thing. When you get a large group of people together all in one space who spend so much time together, occasionally people will inevitably grate on you. (Which I’m sure most ordinands would agree with!) The idea is kind of the same idea as ‘counting to 10’ before you speak. To just have a moment to internalise what’s really going on before you blurt out some words that you don’t really mean can save such alot of undue hurt. There will always be times in which we don’t quite manage to make it to 6 before the words just leave our mouths, and then our task is to act humbly and admit when we have been hasty in our response. It is up to us to be able to stay quietly open in order for our conversations to be fruitful.
Simple actions seem to have been a big theme of this week. Whether it is the random bible verse placed in somewhere unusual, or counting 10 and giving space in a conversation. I was very blessed to receive a care package from one of my best friends who also happens to be an ordinand. Just a simple and beautiful reminder of our friendship and how she is thinking of me.
These things all need no real explanation or trumpet fanfare. Its the simple things that really make a difference. We had incense at community compline this week which for me makes it into a beautiful space of prayer. The simple lighting and the fragrance of the incense really bring me into the presence of God, for me it becomes my ‘thin place’. We can get into the habit of making God too complicated. But by being simply quiet, giving and evangelistic we can bring ourselves into a closer relationship with God.
Peace and Joy.