|Waking up that morning, I knew that there was snow on the ground. I could tell just by the light coming in through my window. Wrapping myself up in my warmest scarf and slippers, I made my way to the porch swing overlooking the backyard. As I opened the back door, every part of me could sense it. I could feel it, I could smell it. There it was. There was snow in Auburn. Sitting on the porch swing, I opened my Bible to continue the Advent reading plan I have been going through. That morning the plan guided me to Revelation 21. As I reached the first part of verse 5 I read, “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.'” As those words circulated in my head I glanced up to overlook a blanket of undisturbed snow covering the yard. It was so clean, so white, so new.
One of the highlights of the semester for me has been our student leader training at 6:30 on Thursday mornings in the Student Center. Yes, you read that right, 6:30 A.M. Over the course of the semester, we have gone through a video series titled, “What’s Wrong with the World?” put together by Fran Sciacca, a Bible teacher out of Birmingham. Over the course of several weeks, Fran addressed sin and how it has caused a rift in our relationships: our relationship with creation, our relationship with others, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with God. If this is how it ended, broken relationships, seemingly no hope, then this indeed would be a sad reality; however, as Fran addressed the reality of the broken relationships we can all relate to in one form or another, he also presented the Gospel, in a way some of our students had not heard it before. Fran presented the Gospel as a narrative, a story, God’s story.
Jesus’ death on the cross is a part of God’s plan to bring, you, I and all things back to Himself. A plan that has been in place since the beginning of time. A plan to bring all things back to Himself. This is God’s story, a story that we are invited to be a part of.
What a beautiful invitation that is. Walking around the college campus, questions for identity, purpose, and meaning are everywhere. Oh, what burden would be lifted, what answers would be found if students, if we, would surrender ourselves and our lives to God’s story rather than trying to cram Him into one of our own.
It has been such a joy to watch those mental wheels begin to turn. To watch those “Aha!” moments and “light-bulbs” come on at 6:30 on Thursday mornings in a small classroom in the Student Center.
As I was trying to think of a way to summarize the semester, there has been much that has happened. We have many seen many students walk into our room for our Tuesday night meetings. Each one comes with their own back story. Each are at different place in their understanding of the Gospel. But no matter where they are coming from or where they are at in their understanding of who God is and what is the Gospel, our prayer for each one is the same, that they would enter not only into a community, but into a deeper understanding of who God is, His story, and what it looks like to surrender their life to God and His story.
Looking up at the snow, I was reminded. He is making all things new. He is drawing all things back to Himself. He is inviting us into His story.
What a beautiful truth as Christmas is quickly approaching. Would we this Christmas celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and gain a deeper understanding of the magnitude and magnificence of His story. Merry Christmas everyone!