Here’s a little snapshot of Rose’s talks, though my notes are barely coherent, but they’re still interesting points to think through.
- There are 3 options we have in a world where it’s becoming hard to live as a Christian:
1. capitulate and live as the world does, ie, blend in
2. live in a ghetto and only mix with other Christians
3. say ‘I want to follow Jesus totally and will accept the consequences, even if that means sacrifice and persecution’
- 1 Peter 1:1-2 – Our identity is as God’s elect, as strangers in the world who are homesick for our real home, and scattered all over the place. Our purpose is that we are chosen by God, set apart for service and obedience in response to the promises God has made.
- 1 Peter 1:7 – There is meaning in our suffering – purifying of gold. Faith will persevere eternally, even when gold perishes. In the hands of God, faith becomes eternal.
- Christians need to be deeply thinking, being counter-cultural, showing the radical and complete transformation of our lives. Many Christians just keep their faiths in a box, only letting it affect a very superficial layer of themselves. But Peter talks about a total change of worldview, affecting every area of our lives, every thought, every action.
- Prepare your minds for action – follow the drumbeat of Jesus entirely.
- We are not called for our own good only – we are called for a purpose, to be mission-minded, to spread the gospel. This is our radically new corporate identity.
- Our new ‘ethnicity’ is as the people of God, one in Christ – in our fractured world, Christians need to think differently, need to be united as one.
- We are all made in the image of God, and that is where our value comes from. There is no hierarchy in God’s family.
- We are to be representatives of Christ – ‘visual aids’, so that people can look at us and see what God has done.
The main thing that I took away from Lisa’s talks was the idea of suffering being a part of the Christian life.
- It’s a lie to say to people “come to Jesus and he’ll solve all your problems”, because it’s just not so, yet he gives us the strength to carry on despite immense suffering.
- When we encounter problems we shouldn’t say “why me?” but “Lord, how are you using this?”
- Isaiah 40:28-29 – God knows when we are weak, tired and weary – but those who hope in the Lord will be renewed. We will soar on wings like eagles, we will run and not grow weary.
- Isaiah 53 invites us to believe that pain and suffering can be mysteriously glorious. There are purposes for our suffering (perseverance, character, hope), and joy that we even as we share in the suffering of Christ we will also share in the glory to follow.
- Isaiah 50 – we are called to walk to the different drumbeat of sacrificial servanthood – and serving costs. But we have the settled confidence that the Lord has everything in hand; it is possible to do anything when we know someone is for us.
- Isaiah 54:17 – not only is our suffering purposeful, but it will end.