Today I woke up ‘late’ at 8am (as I was chatting to Joanne and Hannah late after HT’s student night), and used some time just to reflect and think back to last night at church.
Yesterday was the end of term ‘Risky party’ (church student night’s are called ‘Risky Living’ but they get abbreviated to ‘Risky’), where we ate food, worshipped and shared testimonies of what has been happening in term.
This morning I thought particularly about something Becky had shared about how God had been changing her – she mentioned that one of the things she did as she woke up was to consciously bring to mind Jesus’ resurrection, the hope that she has, and how loved she is that she should receive such grace. It helps her to put the day ahead in perspective and rejoice in whatever happens before she reaches the evening. She said that her term objectively has been very ‘up and down’, but she has felt more joy the past couple of months than in other ‘easier’ terms.
I was thinking about this as I read Hebrews this morning (I skipped ahead after finishing Galatians because I’ve read all the books in the middle a lot), and I found myself struck in particular by Hebrews 2:14-15:
He too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
I just had a moment of realisation – I am freed by the fear even of death. That’s SO big! Am I as carefree as someone who knows there is victory over death should be? Do I appreciate the gravity of how incredible it is that my God has got rid of every reason I could ever have to fear?
So this morning as I was replying to emails and getting through admin, I was really aware of the closeness and comfort of my God. The love of Him who loves me personally and perfectly. And the gardens were also just so stunning this morning that it was like praise just ‘bubbled up’ out of me.
I then had an invite over to the vicarage to sweep the front and back gardens and passageways clear of leaves. It was really good to spend so much time outside, around an actual house (!), and chat with four guys from church as we went about clearing the leaves. And then, Rupert, the vicar, fed us up at lunch and I was just the most excited about apple strudel and Ben&Jerry’s ice-cream! Haha also I used a lawn mower for the first time, good times (so fun)! Shoutout to David, my friend + Risky brother, for an incredible display of leaf-related joy which I thoroughly enjoyed (even though I got piles of leaves thrown in my face multiple times as a consequence)!
When the leaf-fun ended I went back to the reality of a tutor meeting, a lecture on Modal Logic where I had to suddenly kick-start my brain into action, a Christmas event in Clough JCR, and a DoS (director of studies) meeting.
I’m now just eating dinner and having an hour of rest before I do some work, go out to a Union social and then steward at a Carol service. And I am so happy – dwelling on the fact, and re-iterating over and over to myself that I am free from the fear of death! What a gospel! And what a good end to the month of November and the season of autumn, here’s to advent!