It is coming to the end of one of the strangest years we’ve ever lived in. Around this time of year a lot of people take time to pause and reflect on their accomplishments, learning curves and celebrations of the past 12 months. Instead of sharing my own revelations with you, I’d like to share some incredibly insightful reflections from 3 students.
Ethan is a fourth year masters student in York.
“2020 has definitely been a year like no other, but that also means I've learnt life lessons that I haven't before. It’s taken much more effort to keep in contact with friends and family, helping me realise how grateful I am for those in my life who have equally made the effort. Studying at York Uni has been more challenging than normal with lectures online and taking exams from home. At some points it felt like it was all just becoming too tiring, with motivation running low, and so making it through the year is a success in itself. But what has truly carried me through this year has been God, who has continued to pick me up and sustain me when I felt like I had no energy left or hope was running low.
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13
This verse has definitely been a verse that has been running through my mind a lot this year. Without Jesus and his constant love 2020 would have been even bleaker, but with Jesus this unusual year has helped me see even more of the blessings God has for his people. I am definitely thankful that in a year where Churches haven't been able to meet in person, we've been able to gather online with the use of apps such as Zoom. It's been great to see so many new people try church for the first time, interested to see why Christians hope is secured in Jesus. Being able to go to church In person for a bit after summer was amazing, and helped me to realise how much I should value the Church I'm part of.
Now I'm just looking forward to seeing what's in store for us all in 2021!”
We have all had to pause this year and although a lot of those moments have been fuelled with frustration and disappointment, some incredible things have come out of it. Churches around the world have adapted to the shake-up of COVID so quickly and students have continued to step out in new ways to tell their friends and families about who Jesus is. I have been so proud of how the Church has taken steps of faith in innovating new ways to build community and deliver teaching so that every corner of the world can hear of the hope they were made to live in.
I pray that this innovative spirit will continue to grow into 2021; That we would incorporate all that we’ve learnt this year into the rhythms we find next year and that God would reveal more to us of how to not only survive, but thrive in how we share His name together.
To read the previous blog click here