'Twas the week before finals, and all throughout campus,
Not a student was sleeping, not even a nap.
The coffee was brewed before studying with care,
In hopes that hard efforts would cause grades to repair.
All throughout the semester, we’ve been learning that big things happen in the midst of turmoil. An egotistic King was struck down; the church grew. A man named Barnabas went against the norm and traveled to a foreign land to spread the grace of God; the church grew. A man named Saul, who was comfortably celebrated by Jews, went outside of his comfort zone, even in the midst of death threats, to share what he believed; still, the church grew.
Who’s to say you can’t do the same?
On first glance, this task may seem impossible, especially at this point in the semester. It’s finals week. How in the world am I supposed to shake my surroundings when my surroundings are shaking me? Contrary to popular belief, these kinds of times are when you can make the most difference.
We learned during the semester that there are countless people in the Bible that were chosen, despite how unprepared they felt, to go forth and share the love of God with those who really didn’t want anything to do with it – but this proved to be the best strategy in terms of expansion of the church.
If you couldn’t make our last Night of Worship on Tuesday, you missed a powerful message by Keith Comp (Pastor at White River Christian Church). After some good laughs and tips for finals week, he touched on a very important issue about the perception of Christianity today. He reflected that if some people were to walk by the room we were worshipping in and find out the reason for the event, they would think to themselves, “All of these people hate me.”
Ridiculous, right? But sadly, true. Hearing that statement woke me up. There are some twisted views of a belief system that is intended to bring light to the world, not take it away. Every single person can sway the way another person views Christianity. And that’s why it’s so important to take action.
During a week that so many people are being pushed to their limits, what better time to model God’s unconditional love to those you’re surrounded with? As college students, all of us are out of time and resources, but God will provide when you least expect it. Buy someone a snack. Bring dinner to a study group. Compliment a stranger on their smile. Offer to run errands for a roommate. Write a short, encouraging note to a worker at Starbucks. Wouldn’t you be so happy if someone did the same for you? A small gesture showing basic kindness in the midst of such a stressful week will strike curiosity in the minds of those you act upon. The real meaning of Christianity can be revealed to more people. And slowly but surely, we can expand the church by reminding ourselves and others to accomplish one of the most life-giving commands – love one another as the Lord has loved you.
Haley Welch, Impact Christian Fellowship at IUPUI President