It was great going away with so many people because no matter where you went there was people from our group and the banter was excellent in the evenings. It was also a great trip for me to get to know a few more people from the church. It's scary to think that at the end of this month i will have been at WPC for a year.
I had to do a morning devotion whilst away and so focused on a verse i have been thinking about recently from John 20. I've been thinking about this ever since Pete Greig highlighted this verse at the Nua conference i was at recently. The context is the resurrection of Jesus. Mary Magdalene has found the tomb empty and is understandably upset and then she has a conversation with what she thinks is the gardener but is actually Jesus. What we read here are Jesus' first words of the new covenant to humanity and they are 'why are you crying?'. This amazes me as it speaks several things to me about who God is:
- God is a God of COMPASSION - He cares deeply about our hurt, pain and sorrow. 'Why are you crying?'
- God is a God who UNDERSTANDS - He identifies with our pain in that He suffered and died in his humanity. 'Why are you crying?'
- God is a God who LISTENS - Jesus listens to Mary's pain and hurt, even though he knows exactly why she is crying, he still asks 'why are you crying?' and he listens.