Well it’s the second last day, and hence the second last chance to make this MYC a memorable one. I think I only had a mere 5 hours to sleep on Wednesday night, which resulted in me barely making it to breakfast before they stopped serving food. I always had contemplated the idea of sacrificing breakfast in favour of some extra sleep but I don’t think the trade is worth it still; probably get more energy from eating and drinking rather than sleeping an extra hour.
In Bible Study we were finally starting to work more efficiently (though it doesn’t mean as much now since it is towards the end of the week). We did push to finish up earlier so that we could actually get our reflection time – having quiet time to reflect on what we’ve learnt over the week is important, especially since even in our free time it’s spent enjoying time with friends, rather than in reflection and rest – even playing takes energy.
Today’s seminar was about how Jesus’ words have been spoken directly to us. Even though we read the Bible to see that Jesus was actually talking to his disciples, there were parts where he does speak about all believers in general, which therefore extends to us. More so, Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit, which, in a sense, allows him to speak directly to us. Taking some of the stuff we learnt from the 2010 MYC, we learnt that the Holy Spirit helps us understand what the Bible is saying, and so Jesus speaks to us not just in the way where we simply read his words in the Bible, but also so that we can understand what he is saying. So the Holy Spirit does provide a very important link between us and the Bible, which thus completes the purpose of the trinity (Father, Son and Spirit) – it’s funny because a youth asked this question yesterday at a ISCf conference I attended; seems I found the answer, although it’d be too complicated to try and summarise it into a short 30 seconds.
Last afternoon of free time to play card games with each other:
In the afternoon, we spent time as a faculty just talking through our evangelistic mission for the year, which is to read the gospel of Mark with a non-Christian. It indeed is a very specific way of evangelising, which mostly benefits those who aren’t sure of how they may be sharing the gospel with their friends, and it also helps create a culture of reading the Bible with one another – which is good in terms of growing as a Christian (and helping others grow) and also to develop meaningful relationships with other people. This is a strategy that greatly pushes for quality over quantity in relationships which is now quite reasonable and expected to be effective simply because of the sheer number of Christians on campus. Outreach no longer needs to be some huge fancy event where we try and get as many people to come as possible, but rather we want to be focusing more on relationships and letting that be the core strength that allows Christians to help encourage and grow one another and also to share the good news of Jesus with non-Christian friends.
For me personally, I would take a variation of this strategy simply by changing what is read from the Bible. At heart, I still am reading the Bible with non-Christians and less mature Christians, but for me personally I seek to try and find something that will help with what they are wondering and have questions about at the time. So pretty much tailoring what we read from the Bible for their needs; it’s a little more work but I think it’s more effective if you know where in the Bible to go to for the topic under investigation.
The last night talk for this week was, to no surprise, the one which I took the most notes for. Paul Grimmond was speaking on the way in which we look for guidance from God today. He addressed the whole concept of miracles; the miracles leading up to Jesus all clustered around large historical events in the Bible, eg: the Exodus, the Prophets, and of course around Jesus. And since there were no further commands from Jesus talking about seeking more miracles, we shouldn’t really be expecting any more miracles today. The idea behind all this is that we don’t need to see miracles in our lives today to continue growing as a Christian, or to work out what God is saying to us today (like looking for signs and what not). Our guidance in life has and always will come from the Bible because indeed it is all God has to say to all of us. Of course this links back to ideas visited previously such as today where the Holy Spirit actively helps us understand God’s Word and how it applies to us today, and also that Jesus was the final Word of God to us (apart from the epistles that chronologically follow).
This last talk I think follows the pattern of having one of those “anti-charismatic” talks which seems to pop up every year – the idea that seeking some sort of experience or feeling from God external to the Bible is not necessary and in fact can be dangerous. I think later on I will definitely type up my current thoughts on the whole “charismatic” mindset and its subsequent movement which has affected lives around us.
To make the most of our grade’s last night at MYC, we met up as a grade to chat and reflect over the years that have been, as well as any final plans we had for our last semester (mostly for the people under our care rather than for ourselves). However, I think we’ll still need a time outside of MYC to properly catch up and share as we all decided it would be wise to sleep on time. Actually, we were the last ones to go sleep, or close to, which is quite a shift in culture considering how in previous years there’d be some people who’d stay up all night, I being one of them in previous years. I’m actually glad we somehow managed to move away from the culture of staying up late; sacrificing some short term fun for long term knowledge.
One night gone, and one more day to come.