God's Geek

Reflections and random thoughts of a geeky youth worker in North London...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mr Kipling

From pre-destination to Mr Kipling... last week in Disciple, a discussion/Bible study group for Year 7-9, we looked at the subject of serving. At the end of the session, I encouraged the young people to make a card to say thank you to someone that serves them. A lot of them wrote cards to their parents but one lad decided that he always thanked them. So, instead, he worte a thank you card to Mr Kipling to thank him for his exceedingly good cakes.

I thought no more about this until Wednesday, when he came rushing in with a letter from Mr Kipling! (Well, the cake company...) It said that they were always grateful for feedback and were pleased he enjoyed the cakes. And they gave him a £2 voucher!

I just love this story, it is brilliant.

Messing with my head....

I did a session on prayer with the year 10-13 group last night and I really enjoyed it. The plan was to have a quick discussion on prayer and then go for a prayer walk around town. However, I opened up a discussion on what was the point of prayer, particularly intercessory prayer. We talked about how spending time in prayer draws us closer to God and can often change us. However, I also asked them about why we pray for things that, at least on the surface, we ourselves can not impact. Yes, through praying we learn more about God's character. but does it change things? Do we change God's mind when we pray? Or was it going to happen anyway but Gid loves hearing form us? it got into a good discussion of free will and pre-destination, which was good, but continues to mess with my head. I don't think I will ever come to a satisfactory answer on that one! Anyway, it was a good time (I think) and the prayer walk was cool. But I sent an email this morning in case anyone was feeling a tad too confused. Not sure if it actually helped, but here it is:

Hi everyone

I was thinking a bit about last night and some of the stuff that we were discussing. I really agree with Jon that ultimately thinking through these things will draw us closer to God because although we admit that we don’t know much, it causes us to cling on to what we know – God. The Bible isn’t clear about some things (I think this is on purpose) but is really clear that God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us.

And it is good to think about the Bible and how we use it cos I don’t think it is a magic text book that holds all of the answers. I can use passages from Genesis and Numbers to show that God appears, at least, to change his mind and passages like Jeremiah 29:11 and some of Paul’s stuff to show that God has our futures laid out before us! Are both true? Maybe but I think we have to grapple with the Bible and really get into it to understand more of God and his people.

As well, our relationship with God can not work purely on an intellectual level. It is great to really think through things and read up on them and find out what others think. But even if you have the best, most well thought out arguments in the whole world, then that doesn’t mean that you have got it sorted or that you are any closer to God. Or that you know him on a real level at all!

Equally, Christianity can’t be just based on experiences and feelings as this can lead to a faith with no substance and no firm foundation. We need both! And we need to hold our thoughts and experiences in tension as we journey together, praying together and discussing the Bible.
I really enjoyed last night but it is no prob to leave that stuff in the ‘I can’t think about that stuff now’ pile. I think we have to do that sometimes so that we don’t go insane! I hope that times like these will be helpful to you both now and thinking about them in the future…

Now, did God predestine that I was going to write this email??? (tee hee)