Yes, watching 13 hrs of film in full 1080P BluRay HD counts as sermon prep = #trumpcard #LOTR!!! @BeingXian Best Chapel EVER!@SterlingCLife
This was one of my Tweets after the very first Sterling College chapel’s of the year. I really enjoyed it. Further, it has made me very excited to see what God will be doing and teaching me this junior year of mine in college.
The Sterling College verse of the 2012-13 academic year is 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NRSV).
Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Similarly, the theme of the year amounts as being “Bound Together in Community.” As our campus student life chaplain led the college body on the very first steps of our studies through the books of first and second Corinthians in chapel, we were provoked that this will be a journey of exciting and intense proportions. We were warned that, because Corinth was a messed up place, our studies of its message will also create conflict and counterproductive atmosphere towards actual spiritual growth. However, we were encouraged also that the study of the two Corinthian letters this year will reward those who diligently and bravely seek the LORD’s face in worship by individual obedience to God’s word and active participation in discipleship through community and fellowship. To be in community, is to be involved and active towards encouraging growth in others, first by our own pursuit to grow in knowledge of God by study of His Word, and second, by engaging and being there for our peers. We cannot change our campus; we cannot change the World for the Gospel, only God can do that.
What made this chapel especially special for me personally was the fact that our campus chaplain used a large amount of J.R.R. Tolkien’s, the Lord of the Rings to illustrate the direction for this coming year of chapels. You see, I absolutely LOVE Tolkien’s works, considering them masterpieces of English fiction literature. The reason they provoke me so comes from Tolkien’s use of emotion and truth in his stories. As was explained in our first chapel, the love of kings for their people and the dedication for the preservation of others that good might overcome, resounds with greater meaning and proof of a higher power than the darkness which threatens to swallow all the earth.
That which was expressively described [*much to my joy] in chapel, like in Tolkien’s work, we live in a war in which pacifism and idling causes destruction and endings. We live in a world in which the spiritual powers of darkness threaten to unwind progress in our faith or end it if possible. The songs we sung before the message, In Christ Alone, and Our God, further attribute to the brilliant message given.
I get excited about this stuff. If there has ever been an analogy in which I feel describes the type of ministry that I wish to do, it is that of a soldier charging the field, encouraging others to follow suit. I am not a general or commander, nor will I be, nor do I want to be such in my personal ministry. It is my desire to serve God as one who says, ‘let’s pursue this together; let’s go for this without question; let’s make this our mission and pursuit.’ Faith in my heart regards putting aside my fears and doubts, and serving others out of reverence for Christ. By loving others, I love Christ.
So I desire to encourage you as we have been encouraged. The road is treacherous, and not easy, and the greatest reward is not in the finish, but in the transformation.
In the spirit of Lord of the Rings, Bilbo Baggins once said:
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
– The Fellowship of the Ring, page 74 (2004) –
As our college school mascot is the Warriors, I pray that you too might see the value in pursuing the great plans that which God desires for your life and for His glory, for along the way, you specifically just might find yourself as God’s instrument to lead others in community further towards God’s glory themselves. I pray that as soldiers and members of the army of heaven, you might keep alert, and stand firm in your faith. Always being courageous and strong, doing all things in love, that the love of Christ might shine through you and bring you [and others] closer to the heart and love of God.
(Wednesday, August 22, 2012: Sterling College Chapel = Best Chapel EVER!)
Soli deo gloria.