my heart strangely warmed
The three services ended up being such a blessing. The scripture for today was on Thomas, which I love. I took communion three times, which was nice. One of my confirmation students gave an excellent presentation on Justifying and Sanctifying grace (with a poem and singing). Each of the confirmands is going to give a presentation on some topic we covered over the next few months.
In the third service, after I took communion, I knelt at the altar to pray and felt a rush of gratitude. I felt that thirst for God that is too easily (and too often) drowned out by other thoughts and feelings. I prayed to be filled with God's Spirit.
We only had one student come to the middle school group, so we did some reflection on scripture and then spent time hanging out.
Our high school meeting tonight was also about the Thomas scripture, and I talked about how God knows our needs and our doubts. I tend to focus on discipleship and justice a lot, and I shy away from plans that deal with "getting saved," because a relationship with God is so much more complex and deep than a list of sins being erased. Tonight, though, I made space for personal time with God. We spent the last 15 minutes praying and reflecting on our relationships with God. Of course this would be the week that we had a visitor who is not really Christian, but I assured him that we did not have any expectations, and he could use the time as he pleased.
At the end we stood in a circle and prayed. When it was our visitor's turn, I was surprised to hear him thank God for showing him that not all Christians are the stereotypical people with a list of what is bad and what is good. My heart almost overflowed at that point! Since I started this work, it has been on my heart to create a safe place where youth can feel comfortable and accepted no matter who they are. As I looked around the group, it was clear that this was finally happening. God is so good.