Well, this is it, the last day. Thursday night was actually really long. Although everyone stayed up in the dining hall to finish their strand material, we all got kicked out and were forced to continue doing our homework in our cabins. So naturally all the cabins were quite lively around 12am. Not only so, the NSB/NSG ISCF group were trying to all stay up all night to watch the sunrise; that’s what you get for going to those schools. I remember they were quite loud, Quentin had the nerve to go out at night to tell them to be quiet. And then you had my cabin, who were just playing games haha; yeah I confess I had gaming withdrawal symptoms so I played until 2am. At the same time William was on the phone with a couple of girls that night, as well as trying to do his university timetable over the phone at midnight?! Well, that’s what you get for going to North Ryde TAFE, aka Macquarie University haha! (Apologies for those who do go to MQ – it’s actually quite a respectable uni)
The morning was quite foggy again. We packed our bags right after breakfast.
I thought it to be a good opportunity to take this photo while the weather was especially wacked up. This was at like 9am on Friday.
Mark’s final talk today was on Matthew 13:24-52. There was one particular parable which stood out for me today. It was about how there was a field with (grain?) and weeds. The owner of the field didn’t want to weed the field until all the crops and whatnot had fully grown. The owner had a fear that crops might get pulled out if the weeding was done too early. But at the end when the weeding did take place, the crops were separated from the weeds and the weeds were all burnt up. The parable was meant to show how God was being patient with his judgement on the world (the weeding) and that He’s giving everyone time to turn their hearts, because He doesn’t wish for anyone to perish. The thing I was not aware of before was that “judgement” now could result in some “crops” being thrown away as well – that is, some “Christians” would not pass judgement. The fear of this is that all of us can be led astray amongst the “weeds” today. Funny how this parable follows on from the parable of the soils from yesterday. There is then a stronger need to make sure we stand firm in our faith and not sway from the truth.
As such, God’s patience is indeed salvation for many more because we learnt that the Kingdom of God progresses without halting. In two other short parables in today’s passage, there were two men who immediately gave up what they had to follow Jesus. One thing I learnt from those parables was that both men didn’t hesitate to consider the consequences of their actions, but immediately rushed to embrace Jesus as their Lord; and that is how we should be too, we shouldn’t hesitate to listen to Jesus and his teachings either.
Mark concluded his talk by reminding us that although we may not prosper now as Christians in this world, our prosperity is assured in heaven and so we need to continue fighting for our lives here today until Jesus returns.
We mostly just shared all our systematic theological studies today. I went over some of the details of that yesterday already. I guess it was good to see the fruit of the last three days, just the sheer number of things we learnt and all the practical knowledge we can actually apply straight away back at our churches and university groups, I know I have (half a seminar completed). Don’t think there was much else to say. Here’s a group photo that Andrew Hong took:
For Baulko people, yes, that’s Andrew Court on the right. Probably should’ve mentioned it earlier, but meh.
And here’s our fail human knot game that we couldn’t finish even in 45 minutes, how embarrassing.
After strand groups we went up to a dining hall to have our graduation ceremony, where we all received funny certificates to indicate we had completed all three strands at Next Gen. Here’s mine:
We had lunch afterwards and then went home. The drive home wasn’t as lively as the drive to camp, but that’s to be expected when we’re all tired from 5 epic days. We had some nice constructive conversations in the car about youth group and stuff. Conversations during transport are always the memorable ones. I find it interesting that for our youth group, the best bonding times are while catching a train or a bus.
We stopped by at Carlingford Village to have afternoon tea. There was some disagreement on where we should go to eat, but I’ll spare all the dialogue for another time. Here’s Quentin being…himself:
Summary and reflection post coming up soon.