Okay, so I’m pretty shell shocked. I didn’t really expect to have one of those: “Woah, this is interesting,” thought-provoking moments on night one, but this is Greenbelt after all.
Kate Bottley’s talk in the Pagoda tent was seriously standing room only. I was propped up next to some kind of huge iron pole (right in the middle of a couple who probably wished I wasn’t wedged between them), but I was there to soak it up and listen in and boy it was worth it.
I was craning in to hear because I just love Kate Bottley and whenever I see her on Gogglebox and particularly on her latest BBC Documentary, ‘In the footsteps of Judas’, I’m always refreshed by her love of her faith and her ability to convey it so relevantly.
And tonight was no different. A difficult concept – the bad reputation of Judas. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it addressed. One of Kate’s early questions was this: Imagine if the worst thing you ever done is the only thing you’re remembered for?
Like seriously, what if every good thing before that and following that fell away like dust?
I was just so aware of how we can write ourselves and each other off based on our single dimension experiences. I don’t know about you but sometimes I neglect to see myself and others holistically. I just wonder how differently we would operate if we chose to see beyond that?
So this got me thinking about Judas. Vilified for betraying Jesus. The unthinkable, right?
But what about the intimacy that Jesus showed him. What does Jesus do with the blatant betrayal? What does he do with our betrayal? And what do we do when others betray us and let us down?
It started me thinking about our frailty as humans. We can be too quick to discount the good and polarise our views. And we are so skilled at holding tightly to those views.
I just wonder what it would it be like if we held things more holistically and lightly?
Kate described going to place called upper room in her recent trip to the holy land. She spoke emotionally about envisaging the young disciples sat around the table. They didn’t know Judas would betray Jesus, he was ultimately no better or worse than any of the other young lads. I relate to that humanity. A man just like the rest of us.
So at 10pm as I finish scribbling down these thoughts I’m so aware of and thankful for God’s grace and the way He extends it to us so freely and without condition.
Strong start #GB16.
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