As we enter our fifteenth year at Rivercamp it has been exciting to see community grow over the years, to see relationships kindled, church groups united and a Rivercamp family birthed. Each year many gather from around the UK and you cannot help but feel a sense of unity amongst the many who gather.
It is in the centre of relationship that unity forms, strengthens and blossoms. Unity through relationship is something that is always better felt than ‘telt’ and church communities are learning over and over again what is means to demonstrate love through relationship which breathes unity in the body of Christ.
Jesus in John 13 gave us a beautiful command; in fact to the disciples who listened it was a new command “to love one another as I have loved you”. I believe Jesus was not just calling the disciples to a higher way of living, he was calling them out, raising the standard and letting them know that you cannot love God without loving one another – these two things go hand in hand with each other. We cannot do one without the other because love is something that is God birthed inside all of us and through our acts of love towards one another we express the love of God.
Jesus was doing this all the time and we know there were moments when I’m sure it easy for him to love. There were probably occasions of frustration, discouragement and bewilderment, as the disciples didn’t make it easy for Him. However, through the significant and at times the insignificant Jesus built relationship with them, unity blossomed and the early church eventually went on to model something beautiful to us all. Loving people is not easy and there times when we simply need God to give us more grace, but watch out he may just put you in a place where you then need to exercise more grace.
In many ways this is what I love about Rivercamp as each summer many come from all over the kingdom of God. Different families, churches, denominations, ages and cultures all collide in one place with a clear objective – spend time with God and one another. It’s a beautiful thing. Is it messy – at times, is difficult – I’m sure for some, is it worth it – absolutely. Year after year many leave having met with God, spent quality time with their own family, their church community and many others.
This Rivercamp why not come and be a part of a growing community of followers who simply want to spend time with God and one another. Our programme is designed to set you and your family up to do just that and for this very reason we don’t fill up the week with meetings but make room to encounter God, explore your own identity and experience family.