This year’s Adult Youth Retreat was held at FELS Retreat during the last weekend of April. It may have been a long weekend, but we weren’t completely lazy.
We worked through the very interesting topic “Everyone is a theologian! The question is only: What kind are you – cross or glory?” The youth thoroughly enjoyed the topic; it was challenging and we learnt a lot from it.
During the presentations and ensuing discussions focus was placed on two types of theologians: those of the cross and those of glory. The theologian of the cross concentrates on the cross that Jesus was nailed to. It is neither a nice nor a pleasant image, as it shows us how God himself is being brutally mistreated. However, this image is an image of hope. We (even the devout people who attended the retreat) have to realise that our best deeds, which may seem good before other people, cannot help us to achieve eternal salvation. Our deeds cannot be truly good unless they are inspired by God through faith in Christ. Thus our only hope is the cross on which Jesus died for us, so that we may be saved on account of Him.
Contrary to the theologian of the cross, the theologian of glory only wishes to see that which seems pleasant and wonderful. However, one has to realise that the Church and our lives will not always be glorious. We may face difficult times here on earth and experience great sorrows. Our lives do not always follow a certain, predetermined path which leads to a wonderful earthly destination. The only real glorious end which we can hope for is our eternal salvation. Even though it is often easier to be a theologian of glory, we should all strive to be theologians of the cross.
Obviously, the weekend’s activities did not only include topic related discussions. One evening we watched the movie “Spotlight.” In between work sessions, we played cards, enjoyed the company of one another and got better acquainted with each other. The cold also pitched up at FELS. It often served as an icebreaker, contrary to what its usual purpose is. The cold could easily be the introductory topic of a conversation between two people and it got the people together at the coffee station during our break time.
Even though we complained about the cold, we thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. Many thanks to Pastor Michael Ahlers and Pastor Jacob Corzine; it was through their effort that we managed to learn a lot. We also thank our synod’s youth parents, Ralph and Cornelia Schröder, who spent a lot of time and effort to organise the retreat.
Martin Rencken, Pretoria