Not at Newday

I’m not at Newday this year, but part of me is. The event is now in its eighth year, the first six of which I was heavily involved in, taking my youth group and serving in various ways. I always dreaded the preparation but never regretted it once we were there. It was always wonderful, and amidst the madness it felt like how life should really be. I go to a few conferences but the Newday distinctive is the feeling in the air of what might happen, what is happening right now. We don’t just talk about the Kingdom: it comes, as hundreds put their trust in Jesus for the first time, He heals hundreds more, thousands praise Him, many hear Him speak or direct their lives, and on and on it goes.

Where have I been? Elsewhere, reading Tweets and Facebook status updates from those who are there describing flash floods (again), great preaching, and amazing demonstrations of God’s power, whilst I pack boxes and move flat. The contrast made what I was doing seem less real, the Norfolk Showground is where God’s Kingdom – true reality – has been in abundant evidence this week. Moving boxes is slightly less tiring but considerably less exciting.

A bit of careful thought gets my perspective adjusted. Great stories are full of miracles, but they also contain less-than-headline moments: meals, moves, conversations. They last a long time, ebb and flow, require ongoing obedience to what was said when their course was set. Deb and I are getting ready for a new season and God has been at work in and through us too: we have a great new flat, new jobs, and have been blessed with loads of help in making all this happen. Now we’re spending time with family and friends, and quietly getting ready for September, when the action starts again as Edinburgh receives another influx of students, and we’ll be there waiting for them. I hope some of them will have been at Newday, or any of the other events this summer where God has been at work, because then they’ll know what we’re hoping the rest of the year will be about. On and on it goes.