Reflections from a Holiday Club first timer
I’d heard about All Saints’ Holiday Club. All good things you understand. Upon arriving in Eastbourne it was a good way for our children to immerse themselves in Eastbourne life, as well as a good way to get to know newly met classmates who happened to be well represented. Little did I expect that four Holiday Clubs later I would be thrown into the thick of this week of madness, having to don the chainmail of the Black Knight by day and having paint thrown at me by night! It has been a week of extremes: high energy fun and exhaustion, fun and fellowship, frivolity and life-changing truth; where relationships have been strengthened (and strained at times) amongst children and leaders alike.
Upon reflection, I’ve wondered whether it is the juxtaposition of extremes that makes times like these so potent and effective in helping us to process something about the life God has called us to. We might be tempted to think that the fun is some kind of necessary trojan horse by which we earn the right to share gospel truth – the serious stuff, as though the only thing that counts is saving souls. But the gospel is much bigger than that and one of the most serious callings of the church is to demonstrate to the world what we are being saved to. Jesus, the servant sent to the poor, the blind, the lame, to city streets and country lanes is the Saviour not only of our souls but the whole world. He redeems not only part of us but all of us. He is Lord not only of Sundays and serious stuff but over everything, over all of life – including the fun bits. In fact, we really don’t understand what real fun is until he shows us – after all, he invented it.
But there is something else in this marrying of fun and life-changing truth. I don’t know whether you’ve ever noticed this, but immediately following a rip-roaringly and high energy good time, or after a bout of uncontrollable laughter there is a moment of fleeting clarity. In that state of happy exhaustion there is the realisation that in the fun you have touched on some profound aspect of reality: something about relationship and freedom from self; something about joy; something about the life we were created for.
Maybe I’m thinking too hard but it would be good to pray for all the children, young people and leaders that in the emotional lull following Holiday Club and Big Shout God would speak his truth indelibly into our hearts, that we would unreservedly accept God’s invitation to life, and that we would be strengthened in our journey to the great banquet of the King.