The Same Unchanging, Consistent Truths
Though this is officially my last Welcome Night, I’m excited for the different ways in which God will work in the many more Welcome Nights to come.
As cliché as it sounds, it feels as if only yesterday I was sitting in the audience of my first A2F Welcome Night. It’s the same wooden assembly house with its glass cut chandeliers and twinkling hanging lights across the ceiling. It’s the same squeaky floorboards. It’s the same nostalgic smell that brings me back to a younger me.
Four years ago, I never thought that college, out of all places, would be the time where I would investigate the truths about Christianity, learn about a Heavenly Father through the historical person of Jesus, understand the significance of the cross, and ultimately make a decision to follow Christ. It’s the same unchanging, consistent truths that, though familiar, seem new each time. And it all started with this – flyers, free food, and friendly faces.
Welcome Night, this year, was on the theme of happiness and a short message on John 5. John 5 talked about a multitude of invalids who needed to compete against one another to get inside a pool just as it was stirred. The stirring was supposed to bring healing and eventually, happiness. Only some of those who got in the pool, however, were actually healed. In the middle of this scene is a man who had been waiting by the side of the pool for 38 years because there had always been someone who had gone ahead of him and beat him to the pool. But then Jesus comes along in the midst of this man’s utter hopelessness and despair and asks him if he wants to be healed.
Now, in our modern day, this pool can be translated to success or romance or the things we feel are going to bring us “healing” and happiness. It’s the same pools so many of us run after, because they are supposed to make us happy somehow. Why then, do most of us experience the same feelings of discontent and longing for more even after diving into those pools?
See, so much has changed since my freshman year and yet not much at all. I’m the same person with the same character flaws, the same ambitions, the same struggles, but through this Welcome Night I was able to reflect on how God found me, helplessly in pursuit of short-lived happiness and invited me through a community of people to experience Jesus becoming the genuine source of happiness in my life.
During Welcome Night, it was amazing to see so many different people create a huge chalk art mural in less than 2 hours to spark conversations throughout the night. It was joyous to see my friends leading the song time and giving it their all during the spoken word. It was fun to be part of the skit, but funnier to watch my peer’s face expressions. Though this is officially my last Welcome Night, I’m excited for the different ways in which God will work in the many more Welcome Nights to come. There will be different people with different stories and backgrounds. Different hopes. Different dreams. Different disappointments. Different yearnings. There will be the opportunity for people to experience God’s love and unending grace in different forms. All coming together to experience the same unchanging, consistent truths.