i'm a crazy welsh person (who grew up and lives in switzerland)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

second alpha evening

tonight was sooo much better than the first evening. i'm ever so glad i decided to do alpha. i feel that some of the things that were said tonight make it worth the whole 6 evenings, even if it's rubbish from now on...

i would like to add a disclaimer here:
(a) people might have actually said something completely different to what i heard and have written here. if so, sorry ;-)
(b) i am not very good at expressing serious thoughts, so this might sound like a load of rubbish. i've actually written this post so that i can come back to it and see what i thought of tonight because i would hate to forget the stuff i realised tonight...

i never realised that the story of job is not meant to be taken literally. i feel like a right idiot, now that it's been pointed out to me it's pretty much obvious ;-) that gets rid of some horrible questions...

as a child job used to be my favourite story. every time we visited grandma and grandpa, that would be the story i asked grandpa for. i just loved the way job was so faithful and trusting, no matter what happened to him he always trusted god. it was kind of an ideal (i meant to put that 'l' there, i'm not turning into a bristolian...), that was how much we should put our faith in god.

marion told me how when i was about three or so, grandma was putting me to bed and praying with me. she prayed that one day i might come to know jesus. when she was done, i turned to her and said 'but grandma, i already know jesus!'... it really makes me think. a child's faith is so absolute, there's none of this intellectual confusion added. it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that i really did believe in god at that age, cause i can't remember that. it's nice to know. i'll have to ask grandma about it some time...

another thing i feel like a right idiot about, and for the same reason, is genesis. i always wondered how it could have been written as late as it was, or at all for that matter, and be actual history. of course this is another example of not taking the bible too literally. dave quoted someone: 'we take the bible seriously, not literally' or something to that effect. it was definitely an evening of 'duh' moments for me :-) this is what i was hoping for from alpha.

it's really helpful to have marion in our small group, because she can say what the leader can't say for fear of seeming to pushy (and stuff) but really does need to be said. cause i can't say it, i don't know it and the stuff i do know i tend to express so badly it's rather less than helpful. so i just sit there nodding a lot of the time.

of course today i had an excuse for not talking much: during dinner i nearly bit my tongue off... it was a bad bite, there was a lot of blood involved, so my beef tasted very salty ;-)

we were also discussing how jesus said 'i am the way [..] no-one comes to the father but through me' (please look it up before quoting me!!). i have always had difficulty with that, like a lot of people do, because it seems to be saying 'unless you know what i have done for you and accept that and follow after me, you will not be going to heaven' which seems very harsh and very much at odds with his message of compassion and that love is the first and main issue.

marion has shown me a different way of looking at it (she doesn't say it's the way or looking at it or anything, just a way it might have been meant). she says that when he says 'follow me' he means follow my teachings, follow my way... so someone who doesn't know about jesus or does not believe in him, but lives in a way that is loving and compassionate and in fact does follow jesus' teaching will come to the father, because he has followed jesus.

i'm not sure whether this next bit was actually what marion meant because she looked a bit surprised when i took it up, but i found this thought incredibly helpful. jesus is the way to god, him coming to earth and living his human life as he did and then dying to pay for our debt paved the way for us to come to god through faith and love alone, instead of the old testament/jewish way, which is to actually have to follow the law to the letter and never sin against it or else...

i'd just like to repeat: don't go and beat marion up cause you don't agree with this stuff. it's entirely possible that i've got the wrong end of the stick or maybe even the wrong stick... but it all makes sense to me (what i've written, not generally everything...)


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