Written by Pastor Kate Reuer-Welton, Lutheran Campus Ministry-Twin Cities
As an ELCA pastor, at the University of Minnesota, in a distinctly Northern climate, I often think about how the rhythms of seasons are often in conflict with one another. Just as the leaves are beginning to die, our campus comes to life. Just as we’re liturgically called to watch, wait, and be still in the season of Advent, finals kick in and students are stressed to the max.
And as the light of Christ shatters the darkness of our lives and our world in Christmas and Epiphany, as we’re called to celebrate and live in the light, EVERYONE is off campus. Which is very disappointing for a pastor.
But we, at Lutheran Campus Ministry, celebrate in our own way. As students begin to trickle back to campus, we begin the work of our community anew; considering what it means to shine light in the darkness, what it means to live in the light of God, and how our community might be called to grow in response to this bright light – in faith, in trust and in love.
Do you have ideas about what that would look like on this campus?
Some of our students’ ideas include starting a bible study on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, inviting people to share lunch with each other on Tuesdays at Grace, on the St. Paul campus, and other locations yet to be determined, and gathering together to learn concrete skills that will help us “stand on the margins,” and work for God’s justice and peace (bystander intervention, advocacy, respectful conversations). Our website has all the news of the ways we’re trying to grow in response to God’s first love.
ELCA pastor and professor Ben Stewart writes, “In the season of Epiphany, Jesus does not remain an unspeaking baby, but offers the world very specific GOOD NEWS and IDEAS for this world and our lives and calls for a response from us. In this season we celebrate how, in Jesus, God gives us an image of the invisible God, who now shines with the holy, loving light of mercy on all the world. And we discover that when we live in that light, we find ourselves growing like green trees in the image and likeness of Christ.”
Whether you’re Christian or not, I wonder where love, or perhaps even Love, might take root in you? And how might you grow in response to that love through the course of this semester? I pray that you find a place and a people to ask these questions with.