Scattering from Place to Place

The final chapel lead by our Student Council on Thursday was a bittersweet one. With few students remaining on campus, chapels have now transitioned to video stream. Continuing to worship together in this way remains important, Christ-centred community continues to be a focal point even during this unique time. The Student Council Spiritual Life Committee leader, Carmen Friesen, shared encouragement with her peers as they unexpectedly move on from SBC.

I wanted to share something that’s been on my heart these last few days, as we’ve been confronted with having to say goodbye much earlier than expected. This made me think of what happened in Acts chapter 8, where the church is also in a less-than-ideal situation. This is just after the stoning of Stephen, and a great persecution begins against the church in Jerusalem, which forces them to scatter throughout the countryside. While on the surface this seems to be a really unfortunate situation, it’s actually all part of God’s plan. In Acts 1 Jesus told his disciples that they would be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. But up until this point, they’ve mostly been staying in Jerusalem. Now because of the persecution, they are forced to leave Jerusalem. Acts 8:4 says,

“Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word.”

So we see that this catastrophe of intense persecution actually helps to further God’s kingdom through the spread of the gospel.

I see a bit of a parallel here to our situation. Just like the early church, we as a college are being scattered. While we’ll still have classes together online, we’ll all be in different parts of Manitoba and even beyond. This is obviously a huge loss, but what if instead of dwelling on our loss, we tried to look for ways that God might be at work through this? What if this is somehow part of God’s bigger plan? What if we looked at it less as a scattering and more as a sending?

I realize that going from place to place proclaiming the word is probably not the wisest response in this situation. But are there ways that we can creatively be Jesus’s witnesses in our families and our home communities? How can we reach out to the people around us and reflect the image of Christ in this time of uncertainty and anxiety? Let’s pray for opportunities to live out the things we’ve been learning at SBC, and for our eyes to see how God is at work through all of this.

Carmen Friesen

Carmen is going into her third year BA Christian Studies (Missions) in Fall 2019.

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