Monday, October 31, 2005
This evening our Cathedral was full of noise, light and excitement as the Diocesan Youth Officer and an army of young people and leaders from all over the county came together to reclaim Halloween, and stage what Wonderful Bishop described as "the best party in Gloucestershire". Being a bear of very little brain, I had managed to double book myself, so had to be content with delivering LoudBoy and helping to set up (running into all sorts of wonderful people as I did so) while casting covetous glances round at the amazingly creative range of stations that groups had producedon the themes of Inspirations, Saints and Jesus. I then had to flee, Cinderella like, before the evening really began...but I managed to shoot over to the parish, lead a meeting, and get back to the Cathedral before I turned into a pumpkin, so all was well.
Our group had produced one of the "Jesus Zone" stations, which included a graffitti board for the young to respond to the varied images of the Lord (taken from that wonderful resource "The Christ we Share", which never fails to challenge and disturb me) and I was struck by one comment "Jesus is the best at being Himself". My alternative committment (an annual social for the "Church neighbours" scheme, this year focusing on bereavement), left me considering the many layers of protective pretence that we so often adopt, so this hit me fair and square. Jesus is the best at being Himself because He is totally at home with his own nature...no need, and no room, for deception or aspiration. Perfectly Himself, in perfect integrity.
When I returned worship was under way...Fantastic atmosphere, and the visual impact of several hundred glow sticks being held aloft while we sang "Light of the world, you stepped down into darkness" was simply stunning. So much genuine enthusiasm and love about the place...it really was a light blazing against the backdrop of some rather silly, and even sinister Halloween revellries which were much in evidence as I drove there and back. Thanks be to God!