Staff meetings every Tuesday, that’s been part of the Calvary-team routine for quite a few years. Most Tuesdays we spend a portion of our time — sometimes most of our time — sharing God-stories. A God-story tells a tale of God at work, in our lives, in our church, in our community. Recounting these stories of God@work is one of my favorite moments of the week.
Last Tuesday was different. Instead of telling a God-story we had the opportunity to be part of a God-story. We had the opportunity to witness God at work in the lives of four college seniors, Katherine, Sarah, Rachel, and Jackie. A couple of weeks ago, I got an email that included these words,
There are 4 of us senior girls who have been walking with the Lord throughout college and have been committed attendees of Calvary through our 4 years of school. We definitely feel a personal connection to Calvary as a church and the members of your leadership team. As we prepare to graduate in May and transition into the next chapter of our lives, we really want to get baptized. College has been such a pivotal time in our lives where each of us have grown to know Jesus in such a profound way. We would love to make that proclamation of faith as we conclude our time together here at Penn State.
That email led to a Tuesday afternoon gathering at the Harvest Fields Pond. It had all the markings of a great God-story; sharing about God’s work in their lives with heart-felt emotion, the reading of meaningful scriptures, the gasp of anticipation (and cold) as they came up from the water, cheers, and prayers. Made my day.
As they shared a bit of their stories, I loved how God used so many different organizations and people to bring them to the point of initial commitment and later spiritual growth. As they told their stories, I heard Young Life. I heard Campus Crusade. I heard Calvary. I heard Erica. I heard Steve. I heard Stacy. I heard friends. People lived out the gospel in front of these four ladies. They befriended them. They cared about them and for them. And at some point someone shared the words of the gospel.
Paul once used the metaphor of farming. He said that some plant, some water, and some reap the harvest. I think reaping the harvest requires words. “Preach the gospel, if necessary use words.” At some point — words are necessary.
I love the power of the gospel.