Winter break has come and gone, and the return of students has brought about a resurgence of life on campus grounds. As students from across the world have gathered back within dorms and classrooms, today marked our first invitation of fellowship together. Chapel, held in Bethany First Church’s sanctuary, both celebrated the return of students and the wonderful things that God has in store for us in the future of this semester if we choose to know and trust him.
Chapel was led by the campus chaplain, Dr. Blair Spindle, as is traditional for the first chapel of a new semester. As the worship team exited the stage, Dr. Spindle emerged from the back of the sanctuary and asked different students how well they thought they knew him. Dr. Spindle hinged the crux of his sermon on the idea of not only knowing one another and what it means to be in relationship with your community, but of what it means to know God.
Dr. Spindle discussed the verses of the year, Proverbs 3:5-6. In doing so, he highlighted the specific use of the word “acknowledge” and the ways in which we might interpret that from the original translation.
“The writer of Proverbs is telling us to acknowledge God,” explained Dr. Spindle. “The word ‘acknowledge’ is simply knowledge and how we know. It comes from a form of the Hebrew word ‘yada.’ Yada is this word that calls us into deep, intimate knowing.”
Dr. Spindle left chapel-goers with a challenge: to practice knowing God by deeply reading the Scriptures and by surrounding themselves with people who similarly seek out the knowledge of the personhood of God.
Throughout the semester, the area of Christian Formation will offer many different opportunities for students to study and deepen their faith. In addition to weekly chapels, students have to option to receive chapel credits at Kerygma and Kingdom Come. The first Kerygma will be held on January 19th and will feature Joshua Mora as the guest speaker.
“We are so excited about this semester and starting off the year strong!” said student chaplain Beau Hamilton. “There will be so many opportunities to have fun and support your friends! From Thursday night services where your peers will get to share their hearts, to our Winter Retreat where we will have an awesome speaker and a fun weekend! We can’t wait to see what God has in store this semester, and we are so glad you are a part of it!”