So, now that Events Week is over, what do you do with yourself?
That is the question that is asked a lot at this time of year, usually by lovely people at church who are good pray-ers and want to know what they should be praying about post-events week.
Well, the big aim at this time of year (apart from catching up on some sleep and reducing the size of the bags under my eyes) is to meet up with the students who are about to take up roles on the new execs.
For those not in the know, let me explain: CUs are run by students, and specifically by a team of a few students, elected by the CU at large to make the day-to-day decisions and known collectively as the ‘Executive Committee’ or ‘the Exec’.
The Exec at Newcastle is made up of 9 students, and at Northumbria there are 6, and it is this time of year when the term of office comes to end for one exec and they handover to the next lot. So, over the next couple of weeks I’ll try my hardest to meet with each of the new ones, to get to know them, to give them a chance to get to know me, to talk through their specific roles, and to answer any questions they might have. It’s a really fun time of year, as I enjoy getting to know a whole new group of people, and my absolute favourite question to ask is: how did you become a Christian?
Today I met up with one of the guys on the new Newcastle exec and enjoyed hearing his story and chatting about the journey he’s been on over the last few years. It’s always amazing to be reminded that even though each of our stories is so different – different experiences and people and places – the big thing is still the same: we see Jesus, we see who he is and what he’s done, and that becomes everything.
This evening at church we had ‘Better Bible Handling’, the not-so-catchy title for a preaching and teaching class that happens every 6 weeks or so. A few of us gather together, have some teaching on understanding and teaching the Bible for 45 minutes, and then split into groups and hear two people give a wee talk, which the others then critique. It’s a useful and fun group to be part of with regards to learning and developing skills, but it’s also just such a joy to have another opportunity to look at the Bible together, and tonight was no exception as we were led through Titus 3, and there was the gospel, once again.
“For we ourselves were once… [insert all the rubbish, the regrets, the hatred of God and his way]… But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy.”
Titus 3:3-5 (ESV)
I am what I was, because I still do stupid, rubbish, hateful, regrettable things, but, thankfully and wonderfully, being accepted by God isn’t based on my work or my good deeds, but rather, it’s based on Jesus’ perfect good work on my behalf, and because of that I’m not what I was after all. I’m washed clean, made right, saved, and His.
The fact that I get to spend the next couple of weeks hearing all of the stories of how he’s done that for all of these new CU leaders is something to really look forward to.
And that’s what I’m doing with myself now that Events Week is over. Don’t you wish you had my job?
In summary: hearing and hearing and hearing the good news.