The last week has been a week of stark contrast.
Last week alone our team planned and executed four major events on two different campuses reaching thousands of people in addition to our regular Sunday services. Cooking pancakes with Red Frogs, handing out chocolate for Easter, and gathering as men and women to build community and ignite a passion for Jesus.
This reached a climax on Sunday evening with three services on two campuses where the scriptures were opened and the hope of Jesus communicated. I was able to head back to McMaster after our Brock service to catch the tail end of Matt preaching on what it means for Jesus to be Lord. It was amazing to see the bar full of those eager to follow Jesus and hear who he is. We will never grow tired of the fact that every week we get to communicate the joy of life found in Jesus.
However, when I arrived home I stumbled across an article on the McMaster student newspaper website. A young women was telling her story of her sexual assault on campus. A story that that was based at the very same bar I had been worshipping at only 30 minutes earlier.
The contrast between the two events could not have been clearer.
I went to bed on Sunday evening with a heavy heart. I was grieving for the thousands of people within our reach. Those on our campuses asking questions, wrestling for answers, struggling to make the pieces of their life fit.
However, I awoke with a sense of urgency for the mission at hand. We have an opportunity as we are present in the very midst of the chaos. We, the church, are charged to bring light into the darkness. Hope to the hopeless. His name is Jesus. This cannot just be theory it must be our reality.
The cross is not a theoretical or idealogical symbol. It is not just a statement. It is an event. Jesus was was actually on that cross. In doing so his life, death and resurrection scream out to us that we loved, we are wanted, we are made for more. His life – and life poured out – shout to us in protest that God has not abandoned us. The brokenness of the world around us is not the final word. The cross and the resurrection is the final word.
Romans 5:8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
The campuses of our nation are desperate for that kind of hope. Desperate to know that their lives matter. That they were made for purpose.
So we serve. We love. We invest. We pour out. We pour our resources, energy and love into our campuses and cities. We throw ourselves into the fray, full of faith, hope and love.
Yes, we did great work last week. The sacrifice of our church to serve our campuses and cities has been tremendous. But we are not done. We have work to do. So we will continue forward into the call that God has for us.