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ABC_Miriam_Swaffield

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Miriam welcome. Thank you very, very much for coming. You work with an organisation called Fusion, you're helping churches reach students for Jesus. They reach out students and draw them to faith in Jesus so they become His disciples. That’s an amazing job and since I was at university, which was admittedly sometimes in the mid 16th century... [No!] ...well 100 years later. And the percentage of students who are Christians has gone from a sort of, something that was already low to something that's virtually nonexistent. Yes. It’s pretty crazy. It's pretty crazy. So, when in the church they pray, a church that you're working with that's trying to reach students, prays thy kingdom come what are you expecting to happen? Good. Come on. We actually spent the whole day yesterday praying and fasting for this very thing. In Oxford, which was where the last great kind of student revival kicked off and when we pray thy kingdom come... When was that? Well you know like Wesley back in the day when he got his mates together in Oxford… Ahh.. that one. Before, I mean before he really kicked off but he started the holy club. Yes he did. I know about that. Well I hope you do. It's it was a big deal. [It is a big deal] So we're in Oxford praying the same thing, going what's it look like to be set on fire and what the Kingdom of God looks like on campus? The more we pray into it, the more we realise it’s disciples of Jesus genuinely living like they’re from somewhere else. Because if they are from the Kingdom of God and not the kingdom of this world, even how they walk around campus, even the way that they are a good friend, but more than that, how they look somebody in the eye and speak words of truth and life. The way that they pray for their friends. The way that they are in parties and yet shining something different. The way they are incredibly generous even on a student loan, because if money is all on loan from God anyway then that should change the way you live. Right? Okay. But you’re just making, your making them sound, so you know they’re in jacket and tie, [She Laughs] They are wondering around being a bit holier than everyone else… [No! Come on!] ...and pinning people to the wall and saying [In serious voice] “you need to know about Jesus Christ” This is it? No, but holiness, holiness understood, like the holiness of God, [Yep, whats that look like?] It.. transformation. It's not holier than thou. It’s not set apart and oh, like so pure that I can't touch anything that might get me unclean. It’s the Holy Spirit poured out. The power and presence of God that gets poured out on a society that doesn't know Him… [But you won't want to sit next to them at a party would you?] You want to be wherever the Christians are at. If we’re really partying right in the presence of God you want to be where the life give are. Why? Because they are going to be sitting there with, you know a glass of slightly warm water. [She laughs] Shloer. [She laughs] Yeah, no, well. Jesus is irresistible. [Go on] And people are drawn to the irresistible nature and person of Jesus. You have a response when you meet Jesus, even if it's negative. He’s not lukewarm. He’s not apathetic. Christians can be like that. Okay. So, dragging us back to the subject of Thy Kingdom Come. [Come on] So they are praying for that, they’re praying for these signs of lives that are different. What about in the world around. Students... end their time at uni, they go off to get a job. The person who sits next to them at work, the person who works next to them at work doesn’t show up one day and the boss comes in and says “I'm sorry about Fred, but you may have heard, on his way home last night he was hit by car” and everyone looks at the Christian and says “Well, where's your God then? You know Fred’s kid was born last week”. It's true. So what’s going on when you pray thy kingdom come in the really bad places, what’s going on. Christians do get looked to in the crisis moments and so my prayer would be that anyone that knows Jesus would know in that moment, out of everybody you carry hope, hope that goes way beyond the here and now experience of feeling and emotion. If we deep-rooted disciples, not just passionate, young, buzzing students, but also mature, deep disciples of Jesus, you can look suffering in the face and you can not be afraid because of who walks with you. Which means in your moments of grief and pain and ‘God, I don't get it’, you turn towards the Father and say "and yet I will still pray that subversive prayer of your kingdom come, your will be done”. Even when I don't understand. Even through tears. Even through grief. If we’ve got hope and words of life, that’s our moment to step up and speak up. And the other side of the coin of course is, I have seen that, quite often, as a parish priest, often going into a house where somebody has been bereaved and it is, you do bring hope. But you don’t so often get round, get asked round, unless they are part of the church already, when they’ve just got engaged, or when they've just had a baby, or when there was the really good stuff. So when the really good stuff is going on, someone's got fantastic results in their exams as a student, they’ve fallen madly in love with someone and just discovered that that person has fallen madly in love with them and they pray your kingdom come, what do you expect? So good. Well God is the God of the house party and celebration right? So God is really good at throwing parties, particularly when lost people come home, but also for loads of good reasons. Whether that is graduation, or engagement, or a baby, or all that kind of stuff. But there's also this crazy tension isn't there, of real celebration and joy, deep joy, not coming from things that can be stolen, can rust, can be destroyed? So in your best moment, glory to God, in your worst moments, through tears, glory to God and everything in between. Knowing if I get given the gift of my dream job, if I get given the gift of falling in love even, do I have open hands about how I receive it that means for anytime Father God says “My Kingdom come, I'm going to ask you to give that back to me Miriam, I'm going to ask you to put that down for me. Would you give that to see My Kingdom come?” I actually have to keep my hands open, with the good stuff, the bad stuff, everything in between. Your kingdom come, not my will, Your will be done. It's still at same posture isn't it? Whether it's really tough, or really good. Open hands. Thank you very much indeed. Your welcome.

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Duration: 7 minutes and 15 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: annafjmorris on Apr 24, 2018

ABC_Miriam_Swaffield

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