This reminded us that God has the whole world in his hands and called us to slow down to hear what God has to say. There was a great sense of God’s presence and excitement to see what God would teach us.
Busy with love
Susie Leafe opened up God’s Word to us, addressing the theme ‘Busyness as Usual’ from Luke 10. The first talk, ‘Busy doing what? Busy loving’ showed that Jesus is less interested in what we do with our days and more interested in how and why we do it.
Susie pointed us to two options; Justify Yourself – Live by Works, or Accept Mercy – Live by Grace. We saw that as we accept God’s grace through Jesus we are freed to respond to the command to ‘Go and do likewise’ and find a new motivation for our choices, pointing to God’s grace and modelling his compassion.
The second talk, ‘Busy doing what? Busy serving’ took us to the story of Martha and Mary where we saw how Martha’s distraction with service had made her self-focused, demanding Jesus’s recognition and doubting his love and goodness.
Jesus’ first response is love, but then he focuses in on Martha’s attitude, showing that only one thing is necessary; daily dependence on God’s grace (and the great reward this brings that can’t be taken away from us). We saw how this provides a greater motivation and attitude towards serving those God has put in our path.
In between, there was a great choice of seminars, addressing practical aspects of ‘Busyness’ for women whatever their stage of life. I went along to ‘Choosing a better kind of busyness’, which addressed how to juggle our time wisely to bring our priorities in line with Jesus. Sian Baker shared with us some symptoms of ‘Busyness out of control’ along with practical tips to make our everyday lives shaped by kingdom priorities, all grounded in teaching from Mark’s Gospel. Another attendee went along to ‘Why we love to be busy’ with Naomi Skull. All too often our motivation for being busy is to enhance our sense of being valued by others. We run the risk of losing God in our self-sufficient busyness, becoming weighed down by the expectations we put on ourselves, instead of realising that the only one we have to please is God. Pointing to Matthew 11:28-30, Naomi explained how Jesus presents us with a model of a life of gentleness and humility, which is free of comparison with others and always has time for God and others.
There was a great atmosphere following the seminars as everyone chatted away about how much they had enjoyed them and all that they had learnt.
As well as great teaching there was time for fellowship and the chance to purchase some new reading material.
The talks are available online at www.christianconventions.org.uk. Next year’s convention is on Saturday 15 October 2016.