First off, what have been up to since social distancing started?
Since I’m still a student, I don’t actually feel I got that much ‘extra time’ since quarantine started. Most of my time has been used to do homework, study, or get ahead of classwork. In my spare moments of free time, I like to watch TV shows, garden, and embroider!
Why did you join Growth Groups? How are you finding it?
I joined Growth Groups because I really wanted to be part of the church community. Actively taking part in fellowship and community has been something that I’ve struggled with for years, so I wanted to make an active attempt to talk to people I wouldn’t normally talk to.
I am absolutely in love with Growth Groups. Every week I learn something new about God’s Word, and the questions and discussions within the group are stimulating and exciting. Through our conversations and sharing our lives in prayer, I’ve been able to feel like I am a part of the church community for the first time in years.
Last term, Growth Groups went through the Gospel of Mark. What’s one thing that struck you from the studies?
The one thing I remember vividly in our studies was The Parable of the Sower. I always read it in the same way, and focused largely on the seeds in the story and how that is reflected in my own life. Then Alex (my GG Leader) said something really interesting which, for some reason, I had never picked up on – the sower. Every time I read this parable I was focusing on the seeds and had no thought toward the sower, yet the sower is the most important part of the parable! It doesn’t matter what soil we think we are in or even what soil we want to be in, because at the end of the day God is sovereign over our lives.
What are you most excited to learn about this term in the book of Hosea?
In a book where we see Israel’s continued failure, and God’s continued justice and forgiveness, I am excited most to learn more about God’s character and His relationship with His people. We’ve only read 3 chapters so far yet I am learning so much about God’s justice and authority over the world, and also the deep love and mercy He shows the world.
I’ve always thought I understood God’s relationship with His people, and that it’s like a husband and wife, yet Hosea has really broken that ‘understanding’. I am beginning to realise how little I actually know about God’s relationship with His people, and I am excited to realise more about the nature of this relationship as we progress through Hosea.
What have you been reading and reflecting on in your quiet time?
I have been reading through Hebrews at the moment, and anyone who has asked will know how in love I am with this book. I am around halfway through it and God has taught me more than I could have ever asked for. I wasn’t sure how well I’d understand Hebrews, considering it was such a theologically dense book, so I am very thankful to God that He opened my mind to understand what I was reading. This is actually one of the first times I’ve properly read a book in the New Testament, since, being the history buff I am, I always focused on the Old Testament.