The last two weeks, our chapel themes have flowed from “Worship is Confessing” into “Worship is Forgiving”. The first emphasis is the idea of confessing/receiving forgiveness from God and then moving into offering forgiveness/grace to others who have wronged us.
Monday, January 22 – The theme of “Worship is Confessing” was introduced with a skit which showed that confessing is often seen as a sign of weakness when in reality it is a sign of strength and character.
Tuesday, January 23 – In small groups, students were encouraged to write down on strips of cloth those actions/attitudes which lead to broken relationships between God, others, the environment and ourselves.
Wednesday, January 24 – Scott Roser, father of senior Cameron Roser-Peet, shared with us how times when we experience hurt or hit rock bottom can make us more aware of God’s grace. God’s forgiveness is already there even before confessing. Scott offered a challenge to the church to find ways of providing safe places of confession for people like Alcoholics Anonymous does for its participants.
Thursday, January 25 – Maya Kehr Yoder shared about some surprises she’s experienced. Surprises are like discovering God’s undeserved grace, God’s freely given love. It’s like Jesus entering Jerusalem to be killed and still wanting to gather the people in his arms like a hen gathers her chicks.This love is symbolized in the cross. The pieces of cloth that we wrote on in our small groups had been tied together into one long strand that was strung across the stage. While the IMS praise band sang “Beautiful Things”, some students took that strand and wrapped it on the cross to symbolize taking our sins to Jesus.
Friday, January 26 – The IMS Praise Band wrapped up our week with leading us in singing.
Monday, January 29 – We moved from confessing into “Worship is Forgiving.” Emma Beachy and Adria Ebersole introduced this shift and then provided an opportunity for students to write down on slips of paper any grudges or areas of unforgiveness towards anyone who has hurt us. We then talked about these in our small group settings.
Wednesday, January 31 – We used the story of the unmerciful servant from Matthew 18 to show the importance of forgiving others. Lee Ebersole shared about what forgiveness is not – it is not forgetting about it or saying that it was okay or saying you want to be best friends. Forgiveness is often a process, it is giving up the right to get even and it is often for our own healing and growth. Students then were encouraged to bring their slips of paper from Monday to place on the cross within the strand of cloth from last week.