So here’s a piecemeal summary of our first day at YLC, and participating in the Strand 1 workshop.
Morning Session: Psalm 2
Bryson Smith, a Presbyterian Minister, gave an encouragement from Psalm 2. He pointed out the context of the psalm, as being at the front of the list because it declares, in conjunction with Psalm 1, important foundational truths that affect how you read the rest of the psalms.
The content of the psalm is structured in the text into a number of distinct sections, and is notably quoted in two New Testament passages: firstly to clearly point out that Psalm 2:7 is a clear reference to Jesus in Matthew 3:16-17, and also as a spiritual encouragement to the early disciples being persecuted and threatened by the powers that be in Acts 4:23-29.
The unexpected thing for the people in Christ’s day was that Jesus came to serve us rather than for us to serve him. But that’s not to mistake His servanthood for softness, nor should we be tempted to see meekness as weakness.
Strand 1 Workshop
At YLC, delegates are broken up into small 6-to-12 person groups to get to grips with understanding how to prepare a bible study from a passage of scripture. On Day 1 we were introduced to a number of useful concepts and tools:
– Understanding the priority of the Bible and correct interpretations.
– The basic (but oft-neglected) requirement to read, read and re-read the text first! This is a personal weakness of mine; it’s always tempting to read a passage once and then immediately shortcut to a commentary or an online sermon, and cheat yourself from fully coming to grips with God’s Word yourself!
– Content-related tools: marking important, repeated and related words; words that are not understood, and to work out the flow of the passage. In this section I think one thing that might be missing is that there’s benefit in consulting different translations, or the original Hebrew/Greek, to ensure that words that sound like they link together in one translation aren’t erroneously joined together.
Afternoon Workshop – James de Costa? , St Saviour’s Sydenham
The challenge for the young people here was to examine their lifestyle in several different areas. It wasn’t really drawn too much from scripture, but there were a few good points.
Evening Session 1: Matthew 26:1-30
Peter Collier (he was guest preacher at HBC last March) preached a great message on the day and night leading up to Jesus’s betrayal and crucifixion. There were some really insightful points from the text that I hadn’t considered until now – for example, that the woman pouring perfume on Jesus was actually preparing him for burial as well as extravagantly serving Him. And how this attitude is one we should be modelling!
Some initial, a la carte thoughts of YLC in general so far:
– Internet is patchy out here, so hopefully this update will be able to get through.
– Christchurch is hot today. All the locations are swelteringly hot. Our motel room is hot. The dining hall is hot. The auditorium is hot. It’s hot everywhere!!
– People are genuinely surprised and pleased to hear that there’s 16 people from HBC for the week. I guess the conference has been primarily a South Island thing
– Have met a lot of young adults here who are all passionate about studying and applying God’s word in their lives. It’s a refreshing thing to see!
– Great worship music so far – a mix of Getty/Townend favourites, some Sovereign Grace, and also a few new ones (to me). I’m jotting them down and hope to look through and see which ones we can also learn at HBC.
(Note: nicer formatting will come later!)