I accidentally invited myself to a commissioning service. How embarrassing.
After church last night, I headed back to the office to get in one more hour of work before my “find a job” vacation started. Upon being done at 10pm, I walked to my car only to see my friends walking down the road past the Hood. It being the last night of the LIFT semester, they had been involved in a commissioning service since 7pm. I guess I was secretly hoping that it was over and we could all go play; I was also curious as to why they were taking a walk together. Instead of getting in my car and driving over to see what they were up to, I just followed on foot.
This led to my terribly-embarrassing demise. They were merely heading outside for the candlelight section of their service and I realized this much too late to sneak away quietly. The really embarrassing thing was it was pretty dark out and not everyone knew I was there until it was awkwardly announced before the group. Thus all hope of getting out of there with my social-dignity in tact was shattered.
Then I realized that however socially awkward it seemed to be on the outside, God had ordained that moment last night at 10:15 pm. As we circled up with lit candles, Tim (one of the guys in charge) talked about how the students are called to be lights in a very dark world. As Christians, we are pulled from the dominion of darkness and placed in to the kingdom of His Son whom He loves. Recognizing this is crucial, because the application is foundational to the believer’s walk. Recognizing this is step one to glorifying Christ in our lives; we can only glorify Him through the power of what has been done for us.
I was no longer an intruder; God had sovereignly brought me to that quick candlelight service for me to hear these things. And to share the moment with so many that I am somewhat melded to for life. As I look to part ways with the Hood and my church and Speculator this coming fall (more on that later), I am constantly reminded that the real world does not look like my world now. I am leaving a fantastic community for something far-less enticing. Will I hold to these foundational truths about the gospel that I’ve learned to cling to over the years? Tonight I was reminded and encouraged that I will, but solely on the grace of God, not my own merit.
After our lesson on being the light of the world, we sang one song. It has become “the song” for these past two semesters of LIFT, but it has also become something very special to me; I had first heard this song in Nigeria. I remembered being enamored with it and its words. It says so much of who our God is. At the end of last semester (I was actually invited to that commissioning service) we walked outside and sang this song as the students’ last moment together. Last night we stood in a circle, with candles in hand and sung Let us Adore one last time.
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I’ve been here for almost four years. This was the 8th semester of LIFT that I’ve seen come and go. This also seems to be the group I’m having the hardest time saying goodbye to. Some of the students have been here for a whole year; we’ve bonded terribly well. But this is also the end of LIFT as I know it. I probably won’t be seeing another set of students come in. The Lord has used this program to touch me deeply. He has used it to prune, to clarify, to edify, to direct. I cannot recognize the work He’s done in the program withough recognizing the work He’s done in me through the program.
After my self-invitation to a ceremony I had no business being at, I was invited to finish out the evening (it was already 10:30!) with the group. I was able to worship with friends and say goodbye formally to a season in my life.
I was also able to share one thing with the group last night: In my Bible, next to Hebrews 1:3, I have “He is our God” written down. The phrase is in direct reference to the song above and will continually remind me of the work the Christ has done in my life.
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
He is our God.