Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Locusts, rabbits and snapper fish - Refresh July 2013


St Nicholas, Café style service on Sunday 14 July
Refresh in session

The new banner advertising the service was unfurled for the first time.
Our new banner

The theme of the service was “spiritual transformation”. As St Paul put it:  be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12: 2). Locusts were used as one of a number of analogies from the imaginary and natural worlds to illustrate the processes of personal spiritual transformation.
A locust

Transforming pieces of paper into rabbits and snapper fish got young and older folk involved!
Happy paper rabbits
So you are asking yourself how do locusts provide a model for our spiritual transformation as Christians? Locusts are just grasshoppers with a twist. When they are in low density populations they are green, shy and antisocial, shunning contact with fellow locusts. However, if they are forced to have physical contact with other locusts (which can happen naturally with shrinking food resources), first their behaviour changes and they start to associate with fellow locusts, then over a number of generations their colour and shape change also. Both these changes are appropriate for their new life in crowds when they fly (adults) or walk (juveniles) in large numbers. Like locusts we need to associate with other conspecifics (in our case fellow Christians), our behaviour will be influenced by the (hopefully!) Christ-likeness of other Christians. This group behaviour is also inspiring as we hear of how God is active in other peoples’ lives and, as we worship, read the bible and pray with fellow believers, we become open to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. New spiritual genes are switched on. Over time internal changes occur and as a consequence other people will notice a difference in us. Probably changes, mostly behavioural, that we are not aware of ourselves. Don’t be concerned, this is where the analogy breaks down, we don’t change colour!

Keith Charnley