I have had the most memorable Easter I can remember. I went to Motutapu Easter Camp and had the privilege of being camp speaker. What a joy.
I spoke on the theme 'what is God up to on planet earth' sharing how God yearns for relationship with every human being and invites them into that relationship. This was the intention of creation, that he would live forever with humanity in a glorious world, that they would live in harmony, that they would enjoy the freedom of living in this world using creation and caring for it.
However, this relationship was ruptured through the Fall at which time humanity rebelled against God, choosing to eat of the fruit of the tree of choice. This separated them from God and caused the human heart to be broken, their image bearing to be marred, community to be broken and creation itself ruptured. It is as if a virus has been downloaded into the mainframe of creation.
Yet God was not satisfied to leave it there. Driven by love, he determined to save us through Christ. Christ died and rose again in history and calls us back into relationship. We are invited to accept this. If we do, we are reunited with God as he intended. We are then to be his agents, cosmic transformers going out into God's world to transform and save. We are to gather as his people in community, showing the world what God's community might look like. We are to invade with love and service every part of God's world, and share through our lives the gospel of invitation grace.
I challenged the campers that there are two great interconnected spheres he is calling us to be cosmic transformers in. One is the church, the other is the world outside the church including all of society and creation itself. I suggested that we are to be involved in both, all Christians deeply committed to service to the church, and engagement in the world.
It seems to me that we are usually wired to be vocationally involved in one or the other. I urged them to seek God and find where their hearts beat. The Church is in trouble, desperately needing quality servant leaders with sound theology; people who will use their talents to accept the call to be transformers in God's church. I challenged some of them to become ministers; whether girls or guys! The World is in trouble too. It gravely needs leaders with a Christian world view, equipped to go and be servant transformers in all parts of society. I attacked dualism telling them that one is not better than the other and that they need to connect with who they are, what they are wired for.
I was so excited with the camp. I am not sure of the numbers, but there were tens of first time commitments to Christ, and many more recommitments. There was a glorious prayer time on the Sunday afternoon at the catacooms and a wonderful outpouring of the Spirit on the Sunday night. God is good! As I looked out on the campers on the Monday morning, the sun was shining and I knew that there is hope for God's church. Christ said, I will build my church! He will do so! Nothing can stop him!
It was if I was Ernest Rutherford and these people were the atom. What is needed is to split the atom and release the nuclear energy within it. As I write this I realise that every human being is like an atom in this sense. Absolutely brimming with astonishing potential placed in them by God. What is needed is for us to surrender to the Spirit and allow him to completely lead and direct us in every area of life. Release your power through us O God.
So, it was a great weekend. I am humbled by the B.E.A.U.Tiful people I met.
So to God... all glory and praise. Thank you Jesus. I am humbled!