All will be well
The beginning of the school year holds such promise! A new adventure or a fresh start provides both new and returning students with opportunities for growth and achievement that can provide us with the sense of hope that is necessary to start our days with enthusiasm. Yet, if we’re honest with ourselves, such times as these also bring the potential for anxiety in the face of uncertainty. In our moments of insecurity, even good and honorable things can be negatively reinterpreted as points of pain and deprivation:
- Evaluation in the classroom and competition in the field of play, intended to provide us with metrics of improvement, become markers of our failure.
- Full calendars, signs of abundance of opportunity for meaningful interaction, become burdensome reminders of our own finitude and the condition of scarcity in creation.
- The Honor Code, intended as a statement of personal integrity and responsibility, becomes a reminder that at the end of it all, we’re on our own.
If the joys of these early days are easy to find, all is well and good. Thankfulness and joyfulness are always wonderfully appropriate postures for life, even in the midst of the most difficult struggles. But what are we to do if all that awaits us only awakens fear within us?
There are two feeding miracles attributed to Jesus and recorded in the Gospels. In both cases the circumstances of the miracles are moments that seemed to be ruled by privation and sadness. The feeding of the 5000 follows on Jesus’ own mournful retreat on the news of the execution of his cousin John the Baptist. Both miracles occur in deserted places far away from the abundance of fertile fields and lively markets. Yet, in the presence of Jesus, who is being revealed to be the God of creation, there is enough for what is needed. The abundance of the miracle reveals Jesus for who he is. The presence of God is evidenced in the sufficiency of creation. Where Jesus is, the paradise which was Eden is revealed and re-encountered, even in the poverty of the wilderness. It is an endless loop of hope, divine presence and abundance.
When we are aware of the gracious presence of God in our lives, we grow more attentive to the abundance of creation. When we attend to the abundance around us, we grow in our appreciation for the pervasive presence of our saving and providing God.
Sometimes we lose sight of this loop or we perceive ourselves to be outside of it all together.
The Chapel of the Resurrection is an unavoidable presence on this campus. It’s on high ground right in the center of campus and stands taller than all of the buildings that surround it. We pray that the presence of this magnificent building will be a constant beacon for you back into the circle of hope, divine presence and sufficient abundance. Standing in the Chapel, facing east, we can’t miss the fantastic stained glass of the Munderloh Windows. In the windows on the left and right symbols of human creativity and service rise from the ground to meet symbols of divine creativity and inspiration. The center window, the one behind the towering cross, is different. All of the images in the central window are of God’s saving work in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The abundant life of Jesus and his saving presence for us is at the center of it all. Our work, rest and play as our participation in God’s creativity orbit around this life-giving center who is Jesus.
Stop by anytime and be reminded. All will be well.
Aug. 21, 2019
- Archives of Devotional Writings from our Pastoral Staff
- “Some Lent!”
- (Your vocation here) of people
- A Point of Privilege
- A season of anticipation
- Advent = Hope
- All will be well
- Are we willing to cross the road for one another?
- Better Together
- Can we learn to be happy?
- Carrying the COVID Cross
- Come and See
- Did Jesus really suffer?
- Doing without in a life of plenty
- Don’t miss this moment
- Exiles with Vision
- Fear not!
- Feeling at Home
- Finding Purpose in the Journey
- Finding Words for Times Like These
- Forgiving others – and ourselves
- Getting ahead with Jesus
- Getting down on Jesus’ level
- Have yourself a merry little Christmas — somehow
- Holy Week and Taking Out the Trash
- Holy Week: The aid station late in the semester
- Hopes & Dreams vs Life in the Wilderness
- How glad we’ll be if it’s so
- I almost slipped
- In a time of uncertainty, these things are certain
- In praise of plans B … C … D …
- In Praise of Skeptical Disciples
- In the midst of grief, God will bring life
- Is there such a thing as being too forgiving?
- It’s a Three Day Weekend!
- It’s In the Bag
- It’s What’s Happening
- Killing off our future selves
- Lessons in fire building
- Let us work for real wellness in our communities
- Life Is a Highway
- Lilies and leaves and whatever else is beautiful
- Living in the Present
- O Lord, you know I hate buttermilk
- Of Fear and Failure
- On Christian Unity: When we’re not one big happy church
- On the Bucket List
- Pray and Let God Worry
- Preparing for the world to be turned rightside up
- Recovering from an Epic Fail
- Reformation calls for examination
- Remembering among the forgetful
- Seeing beauty in brokenness
- Signs of Love
- Starting Small
- Still in the storm
- Taking a Break from the Relentless
- Talking ourselves into it
- Thankfulness leads to joyfulness
- The Art of Holy Week
- The Funny Business of Forgiveness
- The Greatest of These is Love
- The Magi: Exemplars of Faith and Learning
- The Power of Small Conversations
- The Power of Taking a Sabbath
- The Spiritual Gift of Hindsight
- This can’t be done alone
- To be known
- You will be in our prayers this summer of 2020
- Ventures of which we cannot see the ending
- We had hoped
- What do you do with your anger?
- What is your base reality?
- What to do after you find your voice
- What to do on the day after
- What we know and what we don’t know
- When bad things happen
- When joy and sadness live together
- When the promise of resurrection is hard to believe
- When you offer up your broken cup
- Where God will be found
- Where is the good shepherd carrying you?
- Wilderness Journeys
- Year-end time management: Keeping the main thing the main thing
- Your Valpo roots will help you grow into your future