A New City Group in Tirana
TIRANA REFLECTIONS - BY REA HALILAJ
Before going to a conference or event, we all have expectations and goals we want to achieve. We wonder what is it going to be like. Are the sessions going to be any good, the service in the hotel, are there going to be a lot of people, what if it rains, etc.? It takes God to be there with us and bring His new, fresh way of viewing the world we live in.
During the weekend with the Cross-Current Group in Albania we learned a lot about the theology of work, being a living signpost, and a tree planted by the water which never runs dry (Jeremiah 17:8, Psalm 1:3), rooted in Christ so our trunk (life – philosophy) and branches (character) could grow and that we would bear fruit (virtue) in Him. Since we spend most of our lives (good years) at work, it is important to understand where we stand and to give our best for Christ, for others and for whatever we are responsible. How? Simple, dive into the truth and grasp the heart of God in the process of teaching and making us like Himself.
We saw that work was designed to bring honour to the Creator of the universe and most importantly not to be a burdensome activity. God put man in charge of caring and protecting the earth He created. The fall of man changed that; it changed our mentality of work. Adam (mankind) was going to eat bread by the sweat of his brow until he’d return to the ground (Genesis 3:19). Work became a necessity, leaving almost no space to rest or enjoy God. “But God…” thought of this as well. It is Him who created everything, the universe, the mountains, plants, us. He set a day to rest, the Sabbath. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-11). We shared that without God’s rest, we become machine-like beings, dogmatic, religious, men of the law, making it difficult to love Our Father and others.
Let us, then, approach God in humbleness, asking Him to guide us in our workplace, to teach us how and when to rest, how to live the gospel, how to serve and speak in His holy fear, how to be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks us, whether it is at homes, workplaces, our most frequented cafés, local supermarkets, parking lots, or among “new- pagans” (1 Peter 3:15).
See interviews with the group here