The power of words in a time of change

Director of Pastoral Care, Andrew Nicholls encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus during these unprecedented times.

Staff and Students at Oak Hill have been getting daily emails over the last fortnight. As well as communicating many details of the changes the College has had to make in response to the advance of COVID-19, they've tried to help us fix our eyes on Jesus. Here is one attempt to do that, extracted from the update sent on Wednesday 25th March.

Change like we are going through affects us in different ways. It can be stimulating, to be problem-solving, facing new challenges, and rising to them. It can also be very draining, as plans change, precious resources dwindle, relationships feel poorer and more distant. It's easy to grow a very strong relationship with change - thinking about it, processing it, resisting it, driving it - and then much of your heart suddenly belongs to a faceless power that sometimes drives and often drags us.

So one extraordinarily precious thing we can do for each other is to take seriously the power of the words God gives us to speak radically to alter and bless each other:

From Hebrews 3: 12-14
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

Your words of encouragement about the Lord keep me from being hardened by a burgeoning relationship with change. They help me hold on to Jesus. The living God is not to be turned from! So as much as we think about all the stuff around us dragging us in or dragging us down, let's also see to it that we think also about the Lord and keep finding ways to talk with each other! Proper talks, weighty talks, heart-connecting talks. Christian fellowship is such a precious gift. Our small groups need to find ways to keep sharing the Lord with each other just as much as meeting more practical care needs. There is something crucially important to say even when there is no special need. In God's hands, words are our lifeline.