An Advent Reflection from Pastor Kate Reuer Welton from Lutheran Campus Ministries
"A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." -Isaiah 40:3
We are an Advent people. We swift with students, aware of what is, and still anticipating that there is much yet to come. We are called to be present for those signs of wonder, of light, and of the Kin-dom of God in our midst, understanding that amongst this transitional group of young people, those moments will soon pass. We are called to listen deeply, to pray, to engage scripture, and to cast a vision of GTod's new day.
In a world that feels increasingly volatile and polarized, as a pastor working with and among young adults, I am convinced that it is a fundamental responsibility of ours to co-create embodied communities of authenticity and hope. The church has a word of hope to speak into this fray. We have ancient practices to center us in a great Love, and to send us out into the world to love.
Whether it's an explosion in students seeking out community through our weekly free meal, sharing blessings on Coming Out Day, planning a spring break trip to Northern Ireland to learn how to bridge divides, or showing up to serve with a Pay as You Go Food Truck in St. Paul, our students are embodying what it means to be community, to be church, in the 21st Century. I can't emphasize enough how this service, this proclamation, is not forced on our students - it is not a 'should.' It is a natural extension of the healing and hope that they have found in Christ, and in Christian community. And it is an honor to behold.
If I spend too much time in the 24-7 news cycle, it can be tempting to give into despair, but when I am face to face with even just one of our students, it is apparent that losing hope simply isn't an option. Sitting across from young people - the dream-makers, and the hope-bringers - calls out something powerful in all of us.
And really, isn't this the Advent call? The call of the future, and the call of the church? To acknowledge the brokenness around us and the temptation to despair, and still, to actively wait, to hope, and to trust that God is doing a new thing in our midst?
As our students grow more deeply into their identity as beloved children of God, and begin to experiment with what it means to live into the Kingdom of God, together, you are - we are - "preparing the way of the Lord." And this, friends of LCM, is very good news.
We remain grateful for your support as we stretch out into this uncharted new future, confident in the grace and love of God.
-Pastor Kate