Tamasin attended the Newday Youth event for the first time this year. It seemed strange to see my grown up baby go off for the week, but given how important Bible weeks have been in my own Christian life I was also thrilled. She has kindly allowed me to use her notes and our chats as a basis for a report of the event.
Our church took 36 young people with them. They had to leave on a coach at 08-30 for an hour-long drive. They were lucky as when they arrived the tents had already been set up for them (thanks Steve, Andy and Guy!) The site was massive with several thousand people camping.
The first evening talk was from Stef who spoke on forgiveness. He explained that people’s greatest need was to know God. He read from Genesis 1:26-27 and Genesis 3:1-6. He said that sin was anything that was unlike God. He went through the ten commandments. God is not like us. Psalm 50:21-22. We need forgiveness for our sins and our sinfulness. Its the blood of Jesus that cleanses us (1 John 1:8-9). Jesus crushed sin on the cross. (Colossians 2:15). 1 John 3:8. We need conviction, recognition of our sin, and to name it.
On the first morning, Tamasin tried the “lets wake up at 5am so we get a hot shower then go back to sleep till 7am trick” and it worked well for her.
She described her morning 12-14 meeting as “very random and interactive” I am told that the word random in this context is a positive one! Andrew Wilson spoke on “How did we get here?” he went through three possible answers: luck, a “multi-verse” and that God created us. Then there was a talk called “ready set go.” Dave Rogers spoke about running the race from Hebrews 6. He said you needed the right kit to run in – not jeans – and that our kit is knowing we are forgiven. Repentance is like taking off your jeans, faith is like putting on your new kit. Jesus started his race by being baptized. For us baptism is the way we show we have been cleansed from our sins.
In the afternoon on Sunday Jubilee had entered 2 teams in the football and lost in both.
That evening Stef spoke on forgiving other people. He began with the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9) and Matthew 18. Steff said that the cost of unforgiveness is big. It can destroy us, leading to torment. Forgiveness is not saying its ok. To forgive leads to great belief. Forgiveness needs to be from your heart. It is a decision. (Psalm 92:7, 51:6, 22:1, Ephesians 4:15)
After the meeting Tamasin and her friends hit the doughnut stall. She bought 4 but could only manage 1!
On the Monday they did not get up early for the shower. The morning meeting was “Who was Jesus”? by Andrew Wilson. He went through 3 possible answers – Loony, villain or telling the truth. Her seminar was by Andrew Robinson on “Sin – Its not my fault is it?” He spoke of sins of commission – when we do things we shouldn’t, including actions, attitudes, thoughts and motives. We have a sinful nature (Ephesians 2:3). We were sinners by nature and by choice. Romans 5:12 tells us mankind needs a saviour. Can we overcome sin? Romans 5:18-19. Justified means “just as if I’d never sinned.” Later on, Tamasin was disappointed that the pink Newday tops had run out so she bought a blue one instead.
Tuesday morning meant bacon sandwiches for breakfast. Andrew Wilson asked “Why was the tomb empty?” and gave 5 explanations – 1. Maybe it wasn’t 2. The disciples hid the body 3. Jesus didn’t die 4. The authorities stole Jesus 5. Jesus rose from the dead. Tamasin later enjoyed a seminar by Simon Brading on the trinity. The afternoon meant 5 teams from Jubilee had been entered for a game of dodge ball. Surely at least one of them would win? In fact, one was won but only by forfeit as the other team didn’t show up!
That afternoon Tamasin tried one of my own favorite tricks at such events – the “lets have a shower in the afternoon so no one else is” strategy. It meant a cold but not unbearable shower. That evening was Mike Pilavachi again, he challenged them to give control of their whole life to God.
By Wednesday Tamasin was beginning to feel quite tired, though not as tired as some of our other Jubilee youth who were putting in only 3 hours of sleep each night. The morning talk from Andrew Wilson asked the question “Will we follow him?” and challenged them not to be a school dinner Christian.
On Thursday morning, the talk was “What does a Spirit-filled life look like?” Tamasin and her group won the “tent of the week” which filled me with joy. As a Father I was so proud to hear that she had behaved well and enjoyed her first Christian conference away without us! Thankfully, I heard from the Jubilee youth leaders that all our kids did behave really well. They did have a massive water-fight between North London and Sound London that afternoon which was vigorous enough to lead to the zone host putting a stop to it!