I had an early start this morning, leaving my house in the darkness and gloom of 6:50 am to catch a Metro, to a catch a train, to make an 8 o’clock prayer meeting in Durham.
But despite the early alarm, and my general hatred of getting up before the sun (much rejoicing in my heart that the clocks are changing at the weekend) I was pretty pleased to be up, because today was the day that Theology Network in Durham was re-launched!
Theology Network, for those of you who don’t know it, is a UCCF invention (known as TSF and RTSF in previous years – see if you can guess what those initials might represent!) with the aim of encouraging and equipping Christian Theology students. This description from the website sums it up well:
In the 1950s, UCCF set out to help Christian theology and religious studies students take the gospel to their departments where although Christ was studied, he was not Lord. Ever since, Theology Network groups have been helping theology and RS students live and speak for Jesus among their course-mates. So Theology Network groups are the arm of the Christian Union in the theology department, taking the mission of the CU to students who study Christ, but do not love him.
I studied Theology at my beloved St Andrews, and I loved it. My faith and knowledge of God grew massively over that time, but there were also big challenges – being taught sometimes by people who didn’t believe in the truth of the Bible, or the divinity of Christ, and being in classes with people who didn’t believe those things either. The encouragement of Christian lecturers and tutors and course mates in that context helped me so much, and that’s why I love Theology Network, and I’m so excited about supporting the Durham theologians as they set up a group again.
For the time being we’re simply meeting once a fortnight to hang out, get to know one another and pray, beginning this morning at 8am, with 12 of us in a wee room, making introductions, praying for friends and lecturers, and praising the Lord for the wonderful joy and privilege that it is to study his word.
Hannah led the meeting, directing us to read Psalm 19 and then to thank God for his word – what an encouraging way to begin the day!
The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring for ever;
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
In summary: rejoicing in His sweet and perfect word.