Today I am thankful for friendship. I see it growing so beautifully at the Foundation. There are new friendships that are forming and old ones that are being deepened. What continues to amaze and bless me is the atmosphere of love, acceptance, and joy that permeates our time together as a campus ministry. It is the same atmosphere that gave me new life as a student 10 years ago. Sometimes on the way home at night I sit and bask in the afterglow of the warm feeling I get from being with all of you.
Before Jesus died He had a heart to heart with His closest friends. He said to them, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). I have often thought that this was a weird message to give to the disciples. I mean, shouldn’t He be saying, “This is how the world will know you are my disciples, by the way you love everyone in the world” ? But then I consider all of the churches that are full of people who hate each other. It doesn’t seem like a welcoming place, even when it takes steps to reach out to those outside its walls.
I guess that is what makes the Wesley Foundation such a special place for me; it is the quality of relationships that are born and sustained through many years, reproducing with every generation of new students. Certainly this takes work. We have to continue to love one another, beyond our flaws and mistakes, always trying to see the imprint of our Savior in each other’s faces.
For those of you who have invested your hearts in this ministry, thank you so much. You have made this place special, a place where the presence of Jesus Christ comes alive through the unique personalities and gifts of students who love the Lord. If you haven’t visited us in a while, stop in sometime and say hi. Like Motel 6, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” And if you have never been to one of our services or group nights before, but always secretly wondered if you would enjoy it, know that you are always welcome here. You have a faith home waiting to take you in.
Just know that each of you are so precious in our Lord’s eyes. Each of you have something special to contribute. Each of you make a difference no one else can make. I know I say it a lot, but I am truly honored to be your campus minister.