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Understanding Covenant

If you can’t be bothered to read a long post, I’ll start with a summary:-

I went on my church weekend away and had a wonderful time and got a clearer idea of what covenant is and why it makes sense that Jesus dying on the cross means we can be forgiven. I think I am learning a lot about my relationship with God and the church’s relationship with Jesus through going out with Pete. End of summary. :]

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This photo was taken while a big group of us went on a walk on our weekend away. It was an utterly beautiful day.

We looked at the truth in the Bible and the significance of the actions and promises of Jesus to our lives. Jesus and I are in a covenant. Because of this, we are ONE, despite also being two. Like marriage; one marriage, two people. Being one with Jesus is the only way it makes sense that when HE died on the cross, MY mistakes were forgiven. This is also why I can be hid with Christ in glory, why I can have, do have, eternal life. So the key is intimacy with Jesus, joining in that covenant that He offers us… becoming one with Him.

I don’t have the eloquence to explain why this was eye opening for me, I think it makes more sense because I feel more involved in the crucifixion now. It’s not another reason for me to feel guilty, it’s what sets me FREE from guilt. :]

Which leads me on to the next bit: I understand this covenant primarily because I think I understand marriage (to an extent). My mam and dad love each other and have made a lifetime commitment. They don’t make sense without each other, and whatever you do to one of them, you therefore do to the other. Because by their marriage they became one. If you hurt my mother, you hurt my father also, and if you are loving to my father, you are loving to my mother also. They’re pretty equal, they have different strengths and they have vowed to stand by each other no matter what; picking each other up when needed.

With Jesus and me, the covenant is different because Jesus is strong and perfect, and I am not. But actually, we do both love each other, and nothing can separate us. Jesus willingly became the sacrifice, for all that I do wrong, and more. He is not begrudging.

Which leads me on to Pete, and how being in a relationship with him is teaching me about God’s love. This bit is more embarrassing to talk about because it doesn’t paint me in a great light, and I also don’t want to come across as though I’m boasting because I have such a great boyfriend. I didn’t earn him, I am blessed by him. I’ll tell a story quickly to illustrate.

On Sunday night after getting back from the church weekend away I had to change the tyre on my bike. I had to leave the house at quarter past six the next day to catch a bus to Stockton and ten to seven for work. At about twenty to seven I got into town (nice and early) only to discover upon arrival that my bike lock WAS NOT ON MY BIKE!! *panic* Options flit in a wobbly way through my head; go to Wilko and buy one? Can’t it’s not open yet. Go home and get it? Don’t have time. Call Sam and Lizi? They won’t know the situation/be fast enough. Leave bike in town and hope? No, it will almost certainly get stolen. Jesus, what do I do? Call Pete. Try not to cry with relief when he answers on second ring. Garble in a shaky voice at top speed. Wait for Pete to BOMB it into town only just woken up. Leave bike and trust Pete to find it and keep it safe. Dash madly for bus. Receive text from Pete to say he has my bike safe and sound. Reflect on irrationally willing nature of Pete towards me.

But do you know what, Pete didn’t want me to try to retrospectively earn his rescue, and he didn’t love me less because he’d cycled so fast he felt sick and asthmatic and he actually said he ENJOYED being there for me at ANY hour of the day. And instead of managing to redeem myself, I went and got all over emotional about something and sobbed down the phone to him a couple on nights later at half past midnight. But instead of being dismissive and begrudging and he sought me out the next day with flowers and chocolate. I have to try to learn to receive this kind of sacrificial and loving behaviour. And obviously my response is that I want to love him back as much as I can. But not out of guilt, out of joy!! And this is exactly what I need to learn in my relationship with Jesus too.

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Being a Rah (for a day)

Typically I am known for my slightly obscure and offensively bright clothing with at least a hint of hippy-ish-ness influencing my wardrobe, fairly accurately depicted by this picture:-

 

However, as a student at Newcastle University I don’t really fit in at all, and the vast majority of the students here are what we would call a ‘Rah’, people from upper-middle or middle class backgrounds who tend to all wear the same things as each other, namely very expensive branded things of a particular style. My friends and I thought it would be an interesting social experiment for me to ‘dress up’ as a ‘rah’ for a day, resulting in the following image:-



 

Findings:-

Deciding what exactly a rah wears was harder than expected, maybe they’re not quite so uniform as we might mock them for being after all.

 

Maximum effort made to make hair puffy and stay on top of my head in an ‘arranged mess’ and makeup = much more effort too; eyes started watering in response to excess blackness! (note, if I’d been doing it properly I’d have plastered foundation and bronzer on too but I coudn’t bring myself to do it/didn’t own the required make-up items). I Think so many Rah girls are probably really stunning on a morning before they’ve put on their mask.

 

People’s reactions when you change something about yourself, even just as shallow as your clothes, can be totally hillarious; people find change quite spooky. On the whole more boys thought the change was bad, more girls said I looked nice, almost everyone thought it was funny.

 

Rah clothes are REALLY WARM!! Gillets, despite being armless, are super cosy! And UGG boots are frankly BOILING.

 

Cath Kidston handbags and red skinny jeans are as colourful as you get when being rah (do quite like the bag though).

 

Your clothes must imply that you live in a massive house in the country where you go hunting, shooting, fishing for sport (though the UGG boots might give away the fact that you never actually get your feet dirty) and your clothes probably never convey any messages about social justice (or any other message apart from status and wealth).

 

Got less weird looks than usual on my walk into uni.

 

If you dress up as a nice rah girl then nice rah boys will offer to open doors for you.

 

Felt a weird kind of power in blending in at the Uni Library, in the idea that I was fooling all these people around me that I was just like them (they couldn’t tell I wasn’t cause the library is a quiet place).

 

The charity collectors on northumbarland street who usually all stop me didn’t stop me at all on rah day.

 

People who hate you for being a hippy will hate you anyway even if you conform, people who accept you as you are will laugh along and accept you when you dress as a rah (but they’ll still prefer you to be yourself).

 

It’s refreshing when some people don’t notice what you’re wearing and just chat away to you as normal.

 

Being someone else for a day is fun, but exhausting.

 

I want to judge people by their appearance as little as possible from now on.

New Beginnings

Beginning from now I am going to:

  • Be able to say NO
  • Read my Bible every day
  • Work Hard
  • Rest Hard

I love sunny crisp days and spring. I love the joy and peace of walking in woods with the birth of new flowers. Thank you God.

This is not quite as beautiful as the bluebell wilderness that erupts in spring at home, but it really blessed me.

Crocus Joy in Spring

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