Tuesday, 7 August 2007

IFES World Assembly: afterwords

It's hard to out down in words reflections on the experience of IFES World Assembly. At least, I find it hard. I spent my university years copying down reams of mathematical notes precisely as written on blackboards, which the lecturers had, for the majority, read and copied exactly from their notes. So reporting fairly full & accurate notes of talks, I can do. But the art of summarising, of giving thoughts along the way, of giving the feel of a conference and wise reflection? I defer to Andy. A taste of his thoughts at the end:
"How was World Assembly?" It was amazing, it IS amazing - the work we do here in NZ, with students, graduates and staff is part of a larger work of God around the world: the good news about Jesus Christ is bringing eternal life into every part of life in every country around the globe. The IFES World Assembly has made real that which I've known for a long time. In the small actions of service and communication that God has given me, and you, to accomplish we are building something of greater worth than is currently comprehensible.

As I type this last entry the faces and stories of the people I met at the conference are with me, aware of my smallness in the stark reality of the grace and glory of God: I am humbled and even more committed to the work of students reaching students with the glorious truth about Jesus. When he returns, he will bring us home all together - a New World Assembly that will surpass the most awesome of experiences we have yet known.

"All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvellous deeds; you alone are God." Ps 86.9-10
There were things in the conference which I would have wished different. And there is so much more in me yet that God would have different. Will have different, when I see his Son as he is and am made like him, surrounded by all my brothers and sisters in Him from around the world. Those who have ministered to students when their home islands are disappearing under water forever. Those who have clung to the reconciliation of the cross in the face of ethnic hatred and been killed for it. Those who have treasured Jesus above all, above graduating, above the honour and satisfaction of career, above the love of family. Those who have lifted up and lived out the supremacy of Christ in a culture of derision. We are in Christ. And my vision of what that means has been pushed more profoundly and wider than before. And thus my vision of Christ has been magnified. We are in Christ. And because of that, and only by that, until he returns, we go into the world.
Jesus, Jesus: how we love Him,
how we've proved him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh for grace to love Him more.

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