Friday's – full and yet still empty

Last night was the second Friday’s of the term. There were 46 young people, around 20 of which were new registrants. A number of familiar faces were also missing because of family or other social reasons.

I was also told of others who after several seasons with us have now decided to stop coming. This is a little disappointing as they were the ones with whom we have developed relationships with. However, each year it will reform, reshape and provide new opportunities.

My throat is still in very bad shape, and so I was not in the mood for shouting: 46 is a big crowd to engage with, but after a mapcap game involving balloons tied to ankles for a game of stompsies, Lou did a marvellous job of the notices (you can tell she is going to be a scary teacher!) and I could begin my tale of awe and wonder.

I spoke of the feeling of being surrounded, drowned even by people after your balloon, of having nowhere to escape to. I started on the tale of Jesus on the water; but for me it’s not about Jesus or the miracle: it is about Peter, who following Christ leaps over the side and feeled bouyed up, and trusting in Jesus begins to walk on water also, but then gets a little over-confident, a little too much convinced by his own abilities; then the water starts to lap over him until he fears for his own life and begins to drown.

At that point, Christ is by his side, pulling him up and rescuing him, embracing him.

We think we can do it on our own, and we quickly find ourselves washed over by the cares of this life, and then we find he is there to rescue us.

I then began my blessing (I decided to begin properly each week with “In the name of the Father…” and to close with a blessing) and 3 lads saw that as the opportunity to run for the computers. They were stopped.

I told them all that after a heavy week, of teachers, of playground insults and grinding, dull work, this might be the nicest thing an adult would do for them this weekend.

The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge of God and of his son, Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you, this day and ever more. Amen

It was a good night, tiring and rewarding; filled with young people and yet not as crowded or as chaotic. God was spoken of, and his love shared. Amen.