Veta Morphus offers a Certificate III in Ministry & Theology, a VET course provided to our Year 11 and 12 students as an option within their SACE pathway. I have the privilege of supervising the Emmaus students who choose to enrol in this course at our College. Throughout the year, students dedicate time to fostering a deeper comprehension and expression of Christian faith. This is achieved through consistent scripture reading, journalling, class discussions, research, reporting, engagement in church community service, mentoring, and retreats – there is a lot that they do! The course is thoughtfully structured to aid them in nurturing their faith.
This year's class of nine students participated in our final weekend retreat, joining more than 100 peers from different parts of the state. This inspiring and encouraging weekend encompassed worship, enriching teaching sessions, workshops, delicious food, and ample opportunities to interact with other students. Although it can be a bit tiring, my heart consistently emerges feeling full. Seeing the change that takes place in the lives of our Veta Morphus students over the course of the year is inspiring. I absolutely love it! Perhaps this could be a prospective pathway for your Year 10 or 11 student to contemplate in the upcoming year.
It leads me to think, what intentional practices am I instilling into the busyness of my life to allow for cultivating my faith? How about you? Do you have a rhythm of spiritual disciplines in your life?
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 91:1-2
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Intentionally carving out the time and space to work on cultivating our faith, is how we find ourselves ‘dwelling in the shelter of the Most High’. It takes effort, persistence, accountability; it can feel like hard work. However difficult it may feel, I firmly believe that it is worth it. Effort and hard work pays a dividend. This principle rings true in every avenue of life, from the sporting arena to the boardroom, relationships to health and fitness, naming but a few. If you put in the hard yards, you reap a benefit.
The same is true for your faith in Jesus. Engage with the Bible. Push through and ask God to plant within you a desire to know more of Him. Adelaide Pastor, Sam Ghamrawi, spoke at the latest Veta Morphus retreat, encouraging the students to cultivate their faith. A quote from what he said is, "snack on the world, feast on the Word". Where is your main meal coming from, a Netflix binge or the Bible?
I encourage you to ask God to help you to ‘dwell in His shelter’. Read through that Psalm above. Put in place disciplines that will help you to be intentional in this space. What might need to change? Perhaps you need to remind yourself of the goodness of God. Perhaps you need to invest into yourself, remembering that "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks". We can read that in Luke 6:45. Perhaps asking others to walk this path with you.
Start today. Right now. Pick up the Bible and read from it, the Gospels are a great place to start. Pray. Prayer is simply conversation with God. If you feel unsure how to pray, ask me! Ask a friend! Speak to someone in your church! Actually go to church, participate in Christian community. Do whatever you need to do to cultivate your faith in God, to deepen your relationship with Jesus. It. Is. Worth. It.
I cannot answer for you, but the desire of my heart is to say with confidence and sincerity,
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
May that be true of our Emmaus community.