Different worlds

Recently, I was at a meeting where there was a lot of visual activity going on, and one person checked in with me to ensure I was ok with all that was happening. I informed her that it was fine, as I had helped to arrange all that was happening, but I did appreciate the concern and question.
I followed it up by saying that at some point I would get others to engage in my world of blindness, so they had an idea!!

This got me thinking, how much do we actually engage in other people’s worlds? How much do we actually pay attention to what is going on for them, and try to understand fully what is happening for them?

One thing I notice from the life of Jesus is that he was so good at engaging in people’s lives; he understood what was going on, and he understood them as people. I wonder if there are some lessons for us in how Jesus engaged with people?

1: Do we listen? – not just hear what they are saying, but actually listen to how they say things, and even what they aren’t saying?
2: Do we engage in their lives? Are we present without distraction in people’s lives, so we know what is truly happening for them?
3: How much time do we spend with people? Do we limit ourselves too much, or do we only give people a certain amount of time because we feel that there is something more important to do?
4: Are we focused? Do we ensure that there is no other distraction around us, so we can give people our full attention?

These are just some starter thoughts and questions. No doubt there are more to consider.

Engaging in a town wide vision

So, on the 6th December, 9 people from 3 local organisations, plus 4 local churches came together to explore and see what could be possible in engaging with young people across Harrogate.

We were aware that there were a number of people who weren’t able to make the time, but were keen to engage and see something new and different take place.

Following a starting thought, plus some scene-setting, discussion focused around what was currently happening, and where the possible gaps might be. What became quickly apparent was that everyone at the table brought something to the discussion, but 4 key themes came from this first time together:
1: the need for the Church to come together in prayer and worship to engage together.
2: the need for full and proper research to gain as full a picture as possible to what was going on for young people across the area.
3: Engaging with organisations currently engaging with young people to see what they are doing, plus their perspective on any obvious gaps.
4: A vision statement for everyone to work from.

There will be much more to come from this, and it was great to have so many there who were passionate about seeing something new take place across the area. This has been a foundation-setting time, and from strong foundations, great things can be built.

Security

This morning i read from a Psalm that u2 made famous years ago, 40, but the first part of it really stood out for me at this time. Setting our feet upon a rock, making our footsteps firm, I wonder how this looks at this time of year??

At a time where the majority of songs sing about Joy to the world, and hope, I wonder how thousands of young people feel who have been let down, hurt, spoken poorly of, and are living painful lives. where is that security, where is that joy, where is that hope?

Many people find security in a number of different places at this time of year, family being around, presents under a tree, quality food, time with family and friends, and no doubt many other ways as well, but for those who face an uncertain future, feeling that there isn’t anyone around, wondering even where they might be fed from, the vulnerability, helplessness of a baby comes into some kind of reality, as a baby knows nothing of what is happening around it and knows nothing of what lies ahead!!

So this Christmas time, where is your security? what does security look like to you? What would happen if some if not all of that security was taken away?

Maybe a bigger, harder question, could or should be, where can we be that security for some this Christmas? rather than focusing upon ourselves can we offer some form of security to others around us?

Directional map

Recently I have been re-watching “the force awakens”, part of the StarWars series of films.

Within the film, both the First Order and the resistance are looking for part of a map to find someone, but obviously with very different reasons and intentions.

The wisemen would have undoubtedly liked a map to know where they were heading as they traveled toward bethlehem, but all that they had was a Star to follow.

they followed the star with good intentions, but others who wanted to know where Jesus was born wanted to visit him, follow a map for very different intentions and reasons.

If we were to follow the Star, what would be the reason for us following the star? why is it that we come to Jesus?

Interestingly, Jesus had a plan, and he came to us, not for his own reasons but for ours, I wonder if our reasons for wanting to come to Jesus would be as selfless as Jesus intentions for coming to us?