1,000s of young (and not so young) people will be returning to their daily reality at the end of summer having had a significant experience of the grace of God at a summer festival or camp.
Remember. Give thanks for the real blessing that the event you went to was. That stuff really happened, and it’s going to bear some real fruit in your life. But more than that, remember some of the objective realities that you heard about – the stuff like God sending his Son Jesus because he so loved the world. This Jesus brought a message that we have a Father who cares deeply for us, and we’re part of a Kingdom that’s so unstoppably good it’s worth selling everything to get involved with. That this Jesus didn’t just teach and heal and raise the dead, but amazingly he laid down his life in love, embracing an ugly death at the hands of Roman soldiers, to show us love and set us free. That on the third day he rose again, appeared to many, ascended to heaven and then poured out his Spirit. That the Kingdom he spoke about is close enough for you to reach out and grab, and his Spirit is equally available to you. Remember that stuff. It was true before camp, was true at camp, and will continue to be true whatever you do or don’t do with it.
Reunite. Following Jesus is something you do with your friends. If you can keep reconnecting with the guys you went to camp with – great; if that doesn’t work, connect with other followers of Jesus local to you. Say to one person this week, “Hey, can we pray about this…” then follow through with the awkward two to three people prayer meeting.
Reconnect. Reconnect with the words of Scripture. Ok, maybe you saw a miracle or two, but the real power was in the word that you heard. It’s available to you; if you’re not a reader – get listening. Don’t set targets, but embrace a process of getting in front of these words with regularity. Where to start? Maybe go New Testament first; gospels first (the first four books); Mark is the shortest! Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) if you want to go straight to the fire.
Revolutionise. Revolutionise the way you act towards others. Here’s the thing, “Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to help mum with the dishes”. You want to stop people trafficking in Paraguay,
but and Jesus calls you to take the annoying opportunities to serve the people that you actually bump into (this is what ‘love’ is). You’ll find two things if you do this – it brings you incredible freedom, and it doesn’t work!! When you hit this, the beatitudes begin to make a little sense, and it’s welcome to the good life!
The mountain tops are magnificent, but you win your victories in the valleys. All the best to you!