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Beauty in a broken world

Alison Williams, Southern Team Leader, 13/01/22

The gospel is good news for every generation – even those in a pandemic! CUs often hold ‘events weeks’ in a major effort to reach their campuses, but this year, many CUs will be thinking about about these Events Weeks having never experienced one in person before. So to help with this, we’ve been considering the times we live in and how the gospel speaks directly to students in 2022. Enjoy this final part of the mini series as you and your CU plan how to hold out the gospel to your campus!

Beauty in a broken world

Part 4:

Beauty in a broken world

Have you ever considered how beautiful the story of the Gospel is? Sometimes familiarity with the story causes us to lose our wonder, to forget to marvel and to be amazed. Thinking back to the first blog in this series we considered 1 Peter 2:9.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

God’s people declare the praises of Jesus because there is so much to praise. He is excellent and worthy, he is full of grace and truth, he is gentle and lowly, he is the Lion on Judah. All of our longings, hopes and dreams are met in him as he calls us out of the darkness into his wonderful light. The Gospel is a beautiful story about a beautiful Saviour. And for this reason we need to think about how we share Jesus on campus – are we declaring his praises in a way that is also attractive and beautiful?

Being honest I am not the most creative person – creating a beautiful aesthetic isn’t my gift and yet I do appreciate that gifting in others. Taking time to think about how we can make people feel comfortable, valued and ready to listen is an important part of planning for CU meetings and events. There will be people within your CU who will have creative skills and abilities. They will be able to think about how to present things beautifully even on a budget.

Over the last few posts we’ve been thinking about being a loving community providing a warm welcome to everyone, this is the starting point of doing things beautifully. But you can also work together to share ideas about how to present the Gospel in a praiseworthy way. Maybe it’s creative thinking about the kinds of events to organise. It’s always tempting to do what other people are doing, or what has gone on before, but it is so much better to think again about what you could do as a community. Maybe you have musicians who can perform and provide a backdrop for the event? Perhaps you have visual artists who can decorate and think about how to use the space well. Other people maybe good at baking or cooking, while others are good at thinking of questions to start up conversations.

Music, food, publicity, welcoming, getting a speaker, inviting friends – there’s so much to be done. But when you work together as a community, using the skills and gifts of the whole community then this list of jobs can be transformed from a daunting schedule into joyful service. Even if your cakes look a bit burnt, your publicity doesn’t quite come out the way you expected and the fairy lights don’t work, the beauty of the Gospel will be reflected in that community life of working together to declare the praises of Jesus. Students will see his wonderful light in your expression of loving community and service for them.

Take time to talk to your CU about how you could work together to shine the light of Jesus on your campus. Think about how you can do that together in a warm, welcoming and beautiful way. Get ideas from other CUs and from your Staff or Relay Worker. Whether it is one special event or a full week on campus let’s use this Spring Term to, “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

 

Alison Williams 

Southern Team Leader