John 1:14 says:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
We give thanks to God for the teaching of John 1:1-18, from Stephen Rockwell, New Testament Lecturer from George Whitefield College, during our church retreat last month. How beautiful it was to be reminded of the wonderful truth found in the gospel of Jesus Christ – “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Praise God for the gift of His amazing grace! As Stephen Rockwell rightly put it, “we are great sinners, but He is our great Saviour.”
Below are some personal words of encouragement from people who have attended the church retreat.
Started attending Christ Church in 2017
- When was the first time you attended our retreat, Renovaré? Why have you returned the following year(s)?
My first retreat was in 2017 and this was my third retreat. Church retreats have been wonderful times of soaking in God’s Word, enjoying nature, and having fun with God’s family.
- During the Retreat, we studied John 1:1-18, what was the main lesson that you have learned?
Jesus! Hearing from John 1 impressed upon me how wonderful He really is. I was struck by the fact that Jesus created the universe and is upholding it even now. It’s amazing to think that the Jesus, “Author of Life” has come to dwell with us. We can know Him, and if we trust Jesus, we receive “blessing upon blessing” in Him.
- What was your most memorable part of the retreat?
The “mandatory fun” is always memorable. Aussie bites from Costco are an annual treat. This year, I think I’ll remember coming back after the weekend and feeling refreshed mentally and spiritually.
Started attending Christ Church 2018
I enjoyed the retreat on several dimensions. First, it was great to have dedicated time to study a famous passage of the Bible. Stephen Rockwell’s explanations and illustrations helped me to see how the prologue of John is both important theologically as well as comforting personally. On the latter, Rev. Rockwell encouraged me with his point that “we’re too much like pirates”: we’ve grown accustomed to darkness even though our God is a god of light, light that overcomes darkness. This message brings hope amidst temptations and challenges in our lives, churches, and society.
Beyond the teaching, retreat also provided valuable un-rushed time to fellowship with other members of the Christ Church congregation. I got plenty of opportunities to connect with old and new friends alike over meals, small group discussions, and bonfires. After building up community there, we tore it all down during free time with competitive rounds of soccer and board games based on bluffing and deception. Overall, retreat blended together many key parts of the Christian life – Bible teaching, prayer, fellowship, and rest – into one weekend and for that I’m thankful.