2023-24 Chapel Theme: Right Here, Right Now
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – John 14:26
The original audience of these words of Jesus were terrified.
At least I know I would have been. Jesus tells them he will be leaving. That they will carry this work forward, that they would do what they had witnessed in the ministry of Jesus. They are told that they won’t be alone, not to be afraid, and a few chapters further in our Bibles, Jesus promises trouble for them (and us) down the road.
The utter, sheer terror. Or perhaps I am just projecting.
I don’t know about you, but I like control. I like to develop and execute a plan. So of course in my journey of following Jesus these are the areas where I experience sanctification (or as I put it: having the trash I cling to exposed).
The Spirit of God reminded and taught me much this past spring. Namely that the outpouring of the Spirit cannot be controlled or implemented in a plan. We saw students encounter the Spirit in powerful ways: new depths of prayer and worship, freedom granted, community created, and repentance declared. The moment that encapsulates all this was seeing 13 students be baptized in Bennett Natatorium and some 200 of their peers celebrating with them.
So what does this portend for the upcoming school year? I have no idea.
In the aftermath of such a gracious and powerful outpouring of the Spirit, part of that trash that I cling to told me that I had to capitalize on this, that I had to lead us to even further experiences. In that temptation to plan and control, I felt the fear of potential failure.
Thankfully the Spirit reminded me of the truth of my role; not as campus pastor but the role that all who follow Jesus have: to simply follow.
In his ministry Jesus would explain what he was up to not with point by point descriptions but with stories. So this year on campus and at chapel we will be exploring these stories and all the ways that “The Kingdom of God is like…”
I believe the Kingdom of God is available and accessible and the Spirit reminds me of all the ways the Kingdom has manifested on this small plot of land in Anderson over our 100 plus year history. The Kingdom is everywhere and available to all. Our job is to follow. So for 2023-24 school year, our theme is: Right Here. Right Now.
May we all be reminded and may we all follow.
Josh Tandy, Campus Pastor
Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.