Reflections on Alpha
by Christine Perez
I have always loved God; yet for many years, I felt that I loved him from a distance. I longed to know him on a deeper level but didn’t know where to begin. I intuitively recognized that in order for me to begin my spiritual journey, I had to take that first, life-altering step. But what exactly did that step look like, and at what point should I step out? How would I know I was stepping out correctly, confidently, or quickly enough?
Even after I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior, there were lingering questions regarding what a life with Christ should look like, and sometimes I even doubted whether I had what it takes to be a satisfactory Christian, or whether God could ever really love the broken person I am. I had heard so many conflicting, and often confusing messages from well-intentioned—but often misguided—people over the years that I still wasn’t sure I was worthy of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness.
Then I joined the Alpha course last spring. At Alpha, I realized for the first time that I was not alone with my unanswered questions and lingering doubts. I met others who were also searching for truth and reassurance; some had yet to begin their walk with Christ. While our origins and experiences were all unique, and we all came with different life stories, we were all commonly seeking to know more about God and Jesus Christ.
Alpha provides a safe, open, honest, and judgment-free zone in which to explore Christianity. There are no prerequisites for joining Alpha, except that we simply come as we are, with open hearts and minds. I was both relieved and encouraged to know that I didn’t need to quote Scripture or behave in an expected manner to fit in with my group. I was able to freely ask my questions and share my doubts, without fear of ridicule or shame; and I received only love and acceptance from my group and the Alpha leaders.
Each week, we gathered together to share a wonderful meal, warm conversation, and heartfelt camaraderie. We watched a weekly segment from an enlightening video series and then shared our reflections and perspectives, while our table leader guided us toward a deeper understanding of God’s Word, love, and purpose for us all. Over the ten-week period, my questions were finally answered and my doubts faded away.
Alpha has profoundly strengthened my faith and deepened my relationship with Jesus. I am truly blessed for this opportunity to fellowship with my new friends in the presence of God’s enduring love.
Alpha begins on Thursday, September 15 at 6:30 PM in the Core Cafe. You do not need to commit to the entire fall session in order to check out this introductory evening.