Archive for March, 2012

Has it been a year already? Northumbria’s back

Monday, March 26th, 2012

We had another lovely week with the people from Northumbria Community. For you to get a taste, here are some reflections of our CAT students.

For me was really good to hear about the Celtic prayer, because since I came to IBTS I was trying to find the way how to pray . . . This week I realize that I should pray as I can, not as I can’t; this was like God speaking to me. I’m simple guy and I don’t want to be something what I’m not. And here is the life which Jesus shows us how to live and how to love one another. This what I’m seeking, even if sometimes it is really hard to live as a Christ, but if we are around people who are seeking this as well, we can find community. This is what the Northumbria community did this week and I think that IBTS is community for me and for others as well.

A thanksgiving letter to Northumbria Community team

This didn’t feel like a week, because it passed so quickly! But how many things we had together, in one community, in one Spirit, in one unity. So many words spoke to me. God did some work with me too. And the last evening… Was so amazing! We had lot of worship, prayer, preaching, and drama. And the music peaces in the end… Great time, new experience, good feelings. Be blessed, ‘our family’. =)

During this week I felt differently, more open to friendship between us. I am thankful to God for experience from these last days.

First what I liked is their three times prayer: beginning of the day with prayer, continuing with prayer (midday prayer) and finishing day with prayer with whole community. I think strong prayer united us as Christian. Second, what changed me was the idea that our heavenly Father loves us and cares about us, but He cares also about poor people and homeless, who are not accepted and are oppressed by society. We should put down the walls and turn to the poor. The church has to be as home for them, where they can find support and love. Next thing, what I learned and what was new for me was prayer time in the city. Not just go and pray, but seek God.

Be simple, be hospitable, seek God – these are things which are necessary for us, Christians.

Northumbria Community has surprised me and gives me the new way of thinking about spiritual life. Before I have never thought that it is possible to practice monastic style of life away from monastery, but now I see that we don’t have to be in monastery for living monastic life. Thank you that you come to us and show us a new way how we can to grow spiritually. I’m also surprised by this people who emphasize caring for the poor so much.

God has created so many wonderful people. During my short life I will be able to get to know only a few of them. This week was one when I could expand this group of people with some more members. I find it very amazing what it means to be brothers and sisters in Jesus. I have never met them before, but we love each other with real love. I also find fascinating how God uses us in others’ lives either through a gradual change or a sudden thought or as He likes.

I could talk about a lot of things, but I want to focus on only one. Ken had a presentation on the heart of God. Throughout the months I have been spending here at IBTS, and especially this week, I started to be a lot more concerned about this aspect of our faith than I was before. I think we, the church, are covering our own eyes quite intentionally and deceiving ourselves to explain this strange behavior. Some questions came to my mind. Why is it that we don’t do mission neither towards the higher classes nor towards the lower classes of society? We are stuck and actually we know that. Ken concentrated on the lower classes, and I also believe that this is an issue for some more reasons too, like the Christian heart we ought to have. As I was wondering about this, I just felt sad because in many cases I don’t see that people have a Christian heart. They don’t have the fire. I know it has a lot of different causes and I don’t intend to go into it, but it made me think. Where are we, Christians? Why are we not protesting against injustice? Why are we not selling our second cars? Why are we not visiting anybody who doesn’t have a family and is about to commit suicide? Is that so hard to do that? If yes, there is a lot to learn yet. We are constantly trying to put the Kingdom of God inside our buildings instead of expanding it.

And When I Run I Feel His Pleasure

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Had a really good session on creativity in worship with CAT students yesterday. They all had been asked to work on some creative project – a request first met with panic and ‘I’m not a creative person’! type of reactions, but yesterday all commented that although it required some hard work, it was really exciting to see what can be done. So we had a poem written, accompanied by images and music, a piece of music played on a violin, a song composed, a prayer written, and a video produced.

Some of those pieces are difficult to reproduce through the medium of a blog, or are in languages other than English (CATs were free to work in whichever language they chose), but the project of Natan is readily available: click here for the animation he created. All of us in the class thought it was really exciting!

– Lina