I have to wonder, what makes something “revolutionary”? Great movements for civil rights, wars fought for freedom, and perfected ideas throughout history have been described in such a way. Webster describes revolutionary as “a marked change,” a moment in time when things are altered, or when a path or a story takes a new turn.
This year, the theme of Celebration, the student led worship service on campus, is “Revolutionary Love.” Putting those two words together provokes an interesting thought. How are the ways in which I interact with other students, the words I choose to share, and the love that I give to those around me, marked by a change that has taken place in my own life?
The Malone community theme verse this year has been read aloud to us in chapel, is posted in various places around campus, and is on bright red t-shirts that many staff and students wear. The verse fits well with Celebration’s theme this year because it is an instruction on how to live a life of love signified by a marked change in your life.
Malone’s year verse, Colossians 3:12-17, instructs us to clothe ourselves with something new, to get rid of our old habits and embrace a lifestyle of compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility, patience, and forgiveness; because of grace that we have received and the blessings we have been given.
Abby Segars, a speaker at Celebration this year, described to me the vision of “Revolutionary Love.”
She explained that it is the Celebration team’s prayer that we as a campus “encourage and challenge one another to respond to the love Christ has shown us by replicating that love to our campus.” Abby shared two questions that will shape her ministry this year, “Specifically, we want everyone to ask the Lord, ‘Who have you entrusted me with?’ and ‘How can I daily be a tangible Jesus to them?’ Revolution on our campus happens when individuals are compelled to act on behalf of the hope of Christ.”
Over the past two years, I have heard a lot of students mentioning the word “revolution.” This word has come up in conversations, in event titles, and in the prayers of many of the people that I know. I think sometimes we speak the word revolution with this idea of an outward movement of change. But to be revolutionaries, we must be marked by an inward change that will produce the outward movement that we pray for. It really is about a change in the depths of each one of us, a surrendering to God our lives that will cause us to start to clothe ourselves differently. How we talk to our roommates, how we interact with the other people that live beside us on our floors, how we greet the Buddies, the cafeteria workers, our professors, our RAs when they have to remind us of a rule; how we forgive, how we encourage, how we sit with our friends when they are struggling to find peace; all of this should be done differently as a result of the marked change in our lives.
To be revolutionaries, sharing a revolutionary love with those around us, we must act as a result of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and what He has done to each of us individually. Abby shares, “it’s not about Celebration or the team, it’s about the living God, who’s active and involved in our daily lives. Maybe worship is familiar or maybe it’s completely foreign, but I invite you to come and experience it. Don’t feel like you need to have your life in order. There truly is beauty in the broken. Come wrestle with the difficult issues, fellowship with believers and learn more about what it means to live this Jesus life. It’s a journey for all of us, and there is such joy in walking the road together.”
I am excited about Celebration this year and I am really looking forward to the topics that will be spoken on that involve the theme “Revolutionary Love.” Such topics, I am sure, will result in great conversations throughout the week, not just on Celebration nights.
Start asking deep questions, challenge one another, find accountability, and encourage your friends to grow. Turn inward, devote time daily, ask each other “what happens next?” as a result of what Christ is doing in you, and come celebrate with us, at Celebration, the Revolutionary Love of God.
Kelly Klein is Communications Representative and contributing writer for The Aviso.