Today has been all about being grilled.
Metaphorically speaking, natch.
Our day time hosts for Newcastle Events Week is St Thomas’ Church. It is a wonderful, central (and affordable) base of operations for the week, and a great space for holding the lunchbars, but since today was Ash Wednesday, they were a bit busy having an Ash Wednesday service at the same time that we would usually be holding lunchbar number 2.
So, MJ spoke once on ‘God of love: Suffering?’ – we had about 110 people there – and then we did a quick tidy-up before relocating to the Hancock Pub for a ‘Grill a Christian’ event.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of ‘Grilling’, let me explain: essentially, a panel of Christians sit at the front and people can come and ask them any question that they like. Our panel was MJ, Phoebe (3rd year reading History and English, and due to do Relay with yours truly next year), Ian ‘Rossi’ Rossiter (recent Newcastle graduate and current intern at Jesmond Parish Church) and Will Dobbie (curate at St Oswald’s, Walkergate), and they answered questions for two hours on homosexuality, the Bible, divorce, suffering, predestination, and a whole lot more.
They did such a good job, and it was also wonderful to see more evidence of the joy that it is to be part of the body of Christ, as each answer built on another, like when one panellist would give a helpful philosophical argument, then another would give a practical example to back it up.
Then, this evening, I went along to Windsor Terrace (one of the halls of residence) where the CU small group there had organised their own ‘Grill a Christian’, and I, along with two CUGs (both of whom are called Mark), were the ones being grilled.
It wasn’t superbly attended, but a few folk came in near the end, and they asked a couple of great questions which gave us a chance to explain the gospel. Now we just pray that they’ll keep thinking and talking and searching, and that God will use what they’ve heard to bring them to Him.
In summary: Grilled, but not burnt.