“Funny that you just texted, my flat mates have decided to get so drunk they are dancing on the cooker and smashing glasses”
That was the response I got from a fresher who I’d text to see if she had made it to church on Sunday. I’d chatted to her a few days previously, as she was struggling to settle in to her first week at Uni. She went on to say,
“…little too much to come back from church to.”
And fair enough. If leaving home and the church family you’ve grown up with wasn’t hard enough, trying to find a new church family whilst living with housemates you didn’t choose, but are expected to click with, doesn’t always come naturally right?
It’s not an easy game, starting university life. Some of you reading this will be picturing what went down in your kitchen, your halls, last night, and wonder whether you can keep it up all term… keep up being patient, losing sleep, cleaning up after the night before, resisting the chants of “down it fresher!” when perhaps you’re starting to think it’d be easier if you just removed yourself from their company altogether.
Yet in Romans we read that we can’t go around judging others and thinking we’ve got it right or we are doing a better job at life than our drunk housemates, because:
‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus’.
Romans 3 v 23- 24 (NIV)
Awkwardly, however much culture-shock we are going through as we enter student world, writing that world off as a lost cause, or something to be avoided at all costs misses the point. The point that you’re there deliberately, specifically placed to live out what it looks like to live freely in God’s grace of loving us, even though we too fall short of his standards.
I’m not saying, if you can’t beat them, join them.