So I’m hoping this is something that all of you already know: I am a Christian!
I go to an Anglican Church in Western Sydney (where I also attend bible study) and I’m a regular at public Christian Union meetings at my university. My faith plays is the basis of my life – God, by his Holy Spirit and through the Bible, helps me to understand the best choices for my life. The thing is, the bible can be kind of complicated to understand. It was written in different languages long ago, and there are some words and phrases that we can’t translate very well into English. There are topics and concepts and values that seem strange (or confronting) to a young woman in the 21st Century western world. All these things make me very thankful that I have access to great quality bible teaching!
I am thankful for my church – that we are able to meet together freely. I am thankful that our senior minister, Ian, is an intellectual man who cares about history and is passionate about faith. I am thankful that he speaks clearly and plainly, and helps me see things in the Bible that I never even noticed. I am thankful for Lual, our Dinka speaking minister who helps our own Sudanese members to grow in their faith. I am thankful that my church takes care not to add or take away from what the Bible says is true (although we are not perfect). I am very thankful that our Church is place that welcomes everybody, and celebrates each other’s uniqueness.
I am thankful for my bible study leaders, Lauren & Steve. I am thankful that they’re students at Moore College, so I know that they have thought about and studied the bible deeply and academically. I am thankful for the way they instruct, encourage and rebuke me with gentleness and respect. I am thankful for the new things I learn, and the challenge to the way I view the world. I am thankful to the other members of our group as well – for being open and honest and hungry for the truth.
I am thankful for CU at uni. I am thankful for Scott & the CU team for being courageous and welcoming. I am thankful for the passionate and clear way the message of the Bible is presented. I am thankful for chats in social hour that make me think, and for finding a great group of people my age who love God. I am thankful that CU is a group that doesn’t push an agenda, but aims to speak to love of God into people’s hearts.
I am thankful that I live in a country where I can say all this, and not be fearful that I will go to prison. I am thankful that I can own a Bible (or two, or three…) and go to public meetings and publicly declare my faith without the threat of torture in imprisonment. I am thankful for the high quality of theological teaching people can access in Australia (and that these courses are being brought to countries all around the world). The thing that I always most thankful for everyday is this: “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners…And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” (Romans 5 : 6, 9)