So. That’s it.
I’ve just started reabsorbing what it means to live in real life again after rolling around in the thunder of a generation gaining momentum. This was RAW, or ‘Real And Wild‘, where 500 young folk got together to get wildly passionate about Jesus.
This is the first year we’ve taken the event outside of the midlands (Northants, UK), and this time we set up camp just outside of Birmingham, sharing little ‘villages’ of tents, festival style.
The mornings typically consisted of some pretty energetic and ‘nitty gritty Christian living’ workshops in our event marquee, the afternoons were an opportunity for us to run around Brum City serving the locals (painting fences/murals/faces) or simply sharing the gospel, while the evenings consisted of all 500 of us in the big tent, screamin our little heads off for Jesus, amongst other things.
I’m undecided on my personal highlight. My first one would be the simple ‘brotherhood’ supper scene back at Cornerstone house (where all the guys camped), sharing rice pud in the great hall, with hearty laughs and warm, honest conversation. My second highlight was hearing about ‘the spirit of Uriah’, a man who was passionately loyal to his comrades, his men stuck out in the battle. I want to be like that.
I’ve included below a snippet of the Friday evening’s action in the RAW marquee. This was a ‘spoken word’ poem, and it challenged me to the core. Worthy of John Newton’s pen, it’s the call to leave all for Jesus:
Still we love to call ‘passion,’
What produces nothing lasting.
Only short-term feel good now transactions.
And the enemy was laughing.
Because no investments were happening.
Just good clean, fun, middle-class distractions.
But who will sever their attachments
To the thrills they hold so dear?
Find on earth no satisfaction
Unfilled by her affairs?
For it seems, only a fraction,
Flee ambition’s subtle snare.
And it seems only a fraction
Put a sword to their careers.
– “Peace! Peace!” You hear them cry,
(When peace, of course, was nowhere near).
“Don’t sing your songs of revolution!
Don’t sing of war and violence here!
Just lift your hands and close your eyes,
And dance your dance and love your lives,
Let gentle breeze and compromise
Replace the need for sacrifice.”
-But “War! War!” Is passion’s cry
When fire burns up every fear,
We sing the song of sacrifice,
We sing of death to old life here.
The cowards cry,
(At threat of battle, soldiers ran)
The rest amused themselves to death
On DVD’s and Christian bands.
Where are the youth with martyr spirits,
Who bid their God to ruin plans?
Who scorn the good to gain what’s higher,
With broken wills and emptied hands,
Who stand against their own desires,
And do not dream the dreams of man,
Who put an end to their agendas
At the sound of His command.
When there’s no call to kneel and pray allured
By sweet and gentle song,
No friendly arm to soothe and sway
They still maintain the fear of God.
And ruthless love for Jesus’ Cause
Makes passion real and wild and deep.
Each to his sword, to put to death
All inward rivals that compete.
Because ….you are what you eat.
And you become what you feed.
So brethren, learn to shut doors,
Endure and, learn to delete
Those numbers from your phone
Because he’d love to keep you home,
In silence and in comfort
At ease and alone
But “War! War!” Our passion’s cry,
Let fire burn up every fear
We lay our lives down for tomorrow,
At the cost of all that’s dear.
Here’s a couple of other blog reports from folk that were there: