When I was being formed for ordination at Mirfield more years ago than seems possible, my absolute favourite class was Greek for Fun with Fr Nicolas (sorry to the others – your classes were great too!). Why was Greek for Fun my favourite? Because it was like uncovering the NT texts for the first time, hearing and seeing new and sometimes surprising insights, and we often had Christ-centred deep, challenging and prayerful discussions that have stayed with me for many years.
So how was Greek for Fun as a retreat? In short, deeply refreshing. On a personal level it was a great luxury to spend time just doing some translating (badly, but Fr Nicolas was very kind!) and actually being able to work as a group while at the same time being part of the rhythm of prayer, space, silence, company and eating together. I was a bit worried about coming as I had forgotten most of the basic Greek I did know, but that didn’t matter as whatever level we were at, everyone was able to join in as we looked at the Greek and pondered together what the text might be trying to communicate. As someone who preaches every week it was good to hear other insights and, by looking at the Greek, to understand on a deeper level what our English translations are trying to convey with different levels of success! (Note to self: chuck out Good News version and find RSV).
I learnt a lot this week on many levels, not just Greek, and we even made sense of one passage together which has always completely puzzled me (can’t wait ‘til this one comes up for preaching now!). I have come away with a renewed appetite for Biblical study and feel that we did find Jesus among us this week. When’s the next one?
Revd Fiona Harrison-Smith
Vicar Weoley Castle, St Gabriel