Tag Archives: body of christ

Graduation

After three wonderful, weird, painful and challenging years I graduated from the London School of Theology on Saturday. It was one of the best days of my life, and the pictures from the service show that I smiled ecstatically for most of it!

I also managed to cry only once – and that was when I left the room that has been my home for the last time. I had accessorised it, covered it in Cath Kidston, laughed, cried, studied and socialised in that room – and I was leaving it, and as I slid the white piece of paper with my name on it from the sign on the door I knew this was it.

Hours earlier as I had walked up the steps to shake the hands of the Acting Principal and President of LST, I heard the cheers of my classmates and looked out at my family.

Graduation reminded me how far I am now from the scared, scarred young girl who stepped through the doors three years before. I still get scared, I still carry scars, but I am getting better. Graduation felt, for me at least, that it marked something else. It marked that I had survived, when so often I felt I could not go on.

I have certainly not been alone in that feeling. Indeed, many of my classmates have fought battles that have not even featured in my nightmares. We all arrived with our own baggage. I think many of us now feel that even if that baggage has not disappeared or lightened – it has changed shape.

Because we have all changed shape. I cannot think of a single member of my class who has not changed for the better over the past three years. Above all, graduation day reminded me of God’s amazing transformative power.

God transforms. He transforms through His word. Through His Church. Through His Spirit. Through His people.

His people have shown me the love, grace and oh so gentle shoves of God.

I am well aware of the high levels of sentimentality in this post and I will take this opportunity to apologise to those of you who have been reaching for the nearest bucket!

So now I’m a graduate. I’m preparing (hopefully) for post-graduate study. To move out of my family home and live in my own place with a great friend.

It’s a new chapter, and while I am gutted to have finished the last, so far the best chapter, I can’t help but be a little excited for what is coming next!

The Church of Jeremy Kyle

So, in the midst of studentdom – mornings in bed with a cup of coffee and a book are standard…and the background noise – The Jeremy Kyle Show.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the presenter tries to solve relationship problems, addictions etc with his confrontational presenting style. His catchphrase? ‘I’m only being honest’.

Every morning people appear on the stage, expletives falling from their mouths like acid rain claiming that X slept with Y and Z has a drink problem and may not be the biological father of Y’s baby. There are women, desperate to escape violent relationships, children searching for absentee mothers and fathers, young people struggling with addictions to self-harm and food.  Lie detector and DNA tests ensue and they may be seen by the man Jeremy calls ‘The Genius’ the show’s resident psychologist. After Jeremy delivers his verdict and advice – to separate, be a Father, stick together or use the help being offered by the ‘excellent after-care’ team, the individuals leave the stage – together or apart to go on with the rest of their lives.

After a discussion with a friend – we wondered where the Church was in these sorry stories of society.

Once upon a time, the provision of care for the fatherless, the relationship counselling and the troubled individuals; was the Church. It was at the forefront of social care.

Now, in order for people to get the help they so desperately need, they must embarrass themselves on national television. Air their dirty laundry in public, have a stranger on TV tell them about family planning and the support available for social and mental disorders.

Why is it, that people would rather go on TV, than step through a Church’s doors?

In the Bible, Jesus approaches the prostitutes and outcasts – and now they will not come near the Church? Where did we go wrong that the very people Jesus welcomed are the people who feel most rejected by Church?

The love of God is powerful that if we have committed our lives to Him – His love should shine right through us to those around us. It should make people – all people want to know what is different about us, why we love the people we meet regardless of their situations.

If the Church of Christ was what it is meant to be…surely there would be no need for The Church of Jeremy Kyle?