|Meadowgate Farm, outside Orangeville, Illinois|
|Saturday morning sunrise over North Central Illinois|
Kirk Baker, who with his wife Amy leads the young adult ministry, led our group devotional times. His topic for the weekend was, simply but profoundly, growth. He challenged us young adults to think 20, 30, 40 years into the future: would each of us be more mature in Christ at that point? We are always and constantly responding to something, to some situation or another, he observed, and it is the sum of those responses over time that either make us more like Christ or less. This is the process of sanctification, essentially.
The next question Kirk had for us was what role does the Cross have in our sanctification. It has a crucial role, we agreed (I use the word "crucial" intentionally as it has as its root the Latin word for cross). On his handout, Kirk had written about the Cross: "Through Christ his out poured grace we experience comfort, cleansing, and the power to change." In our Saturday evening devotional session we looked at two passages from Paul's writings (Galatians 2:20 and Romans 8:9-10, to be specific), which describe this concept. Our discussion further led us to the conclusion that not only does the indwelling of the Spirit allow us to have godly responses to temptation and difficulty situations and circumstances, but it allows us to receive grace and have the courage to continue when we fall and do not have godly responses.
Thanks, Kirk and Amy, for leading our time of rest and reflection over the weekend!
|About half the members of my small group were able to attend the retreat. In the back, from left to right, are Jill, Jason, and me, and in the front are Adriana, Matt, and Charlene.|