Well, today is the first Friday of the fall semester, and boy what a week it’s been! On my way in to Northern on Main today, I stopped and talked to someone on the sidewalk, who asked me how the first week had gone. Oddly enough, I said, the first week has been less stressful than the week before the semester began! “Opening Weekend,” as it is called (even though the activities stretched from Wednesday to Sunday), is a long one, with lots of activities to keep the incoming students busy (read: not homesick…) and the returning students active as leaders (read: out of trouble…)
So, being back in the routine of being in the office, doing one-to-one meetings at NOM, and preparing for/leading chapel has been a respite for me. Plus, the students are back! And that brings me great joy, since they bring such energy and enthusiasm to Religious Life, and the campus in general.
The beginning of the fall semester brings with it a great host of possibilities. There are so many “What if” moments, when we begin to wonder how we can grow, change, and learn in this new year. Everyone’s excited to see everyone else, and the year stretches out before us like a blank book, just waiting to be written in.
It’s at times like this that I am grateful for the opportunity to be in campus ministry. It’s such a joy to see the rebirth and renewal that happens every year. As a Christian, I’m reminded of the rebirth and renewal that come to us in Jesus, who calls us all to be born anew. Just as the changing seasons remind us of the cycle of birth, death, and resurrection, so the new school year reminds us of the call to eternal life in Christ.
I pray that all my ONU friends and family will have a great year this year, and that every day will be a reminder to us all of the promise of eternal life. May this year bring with it a new birth into the never-ending possibilities presented by God’s grace in our lives.
Blessings and Happy New Year,