Oct 27 2007

Another beer o-clock was winding down today at Catalyst when Lingzi and Rose showed up at my desk, asking if I was interested in going to a concert in the evening. It was a free, christian concert, they said. I had nothing planned for the evening, and since I don't get to hang with the old crowd from uni enough, I said sure, why not. It turned out to be an experience I'm glad I've now had, even though it wasn't so much a concert as a preaching.

I don't pay much attention to the news, so I knew nothing about the concert until Lingzi and Rose asked me about it. So I didn't know what to expect, other than "praise the lord" type songs. However, it turned out to be some event called "Harvest '07", fronted by a band all the way from the USA, and some preacher whose name I have forgotten. The MC was Simon Dallow, a person of whom I knew existed, but hadn't heard of for a very long time. After a few songs from the band and a couple from a lady, the preacher did his sermon [1].

Until the sermon I had been if anything a little bored, but the sermon got me a lot more interested. The gist of it was that everyone was a sinner, lonely, scared and afraid to die; this is because there is a hole in your heart for Jesus and you have the power to let him fill that hole. To become a true Christian and enter the kingdom of heaven when you die you must admit you are a sinner, ask for God's forgiveness and let Jesus into your heart; state this in public and do it now. At the end he invited anyone who wanted to come down onto the floor and commit themselves to Christ.

Overall, it was a powerful performance. The floor ended up full of people willing to commit themselves. All of the people I came with went down (about five or six), but I didn't go. I don't want to talk about why I didn't online, partly because nobody reading this will give a shit and partly because I'm happy to discuss it with anyone who asks me in real life. However, I did learn something good about myself from it all, and gained a life experience I think I'll value for a long time.

Even if you're a big religion skeptic, I would encourage you to go to one of these big sermons. However, don't go as a skeptic - you do that every day already. Go as a human. Listen to what they say, apply it to yourself and see if you find out something about yourself, even if all you find is that you're happy with the way you are. And after it's over, you'll have a unique experience under your belt that you can benefit from in future.

Full disclosure: I don't have a religion or believe in a higher power. I got so tired of the religion debate that I refuse to have it with anyone now. I still live my life to what I think are good morals and try to be a good person, though in the end other people will judge me on their own morals. I don't care what happens when I die either. I'm far more interested in the life I'm living right now.

[1]I apologise if I'm getting the terms wrong here, I'm unfamiliar with christian terminology.

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