All Things Held in Christ
Each year, the Student Life Department chooses a theme for the academic year. This year’s theme is “All Things Held in Christ,” based on the apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossian church. The theme this year also reflects Redeemer’s tagline “Discover all things in Him” which is drawn from the same passage.
Throughout the year, the Redeemer community will reflect on this theme, trying to discern what it means for us as individuals who are going about our calling as students, staff and faculty, but we will also think about what it means for our corporate, communal task as a Christian academic community that is engaged in teaching, research and service.
President Krygsman reflected on Redeemer’s place and calling as it relates to the theme in his Opening Convocation address. He noted that theme reflects and celebrates “the all-encompassing cosmic scope of Christ’s redemptive lordship [that] is at the heart of Redeemer’s identity and mission.” That mission, he pointed out, can be seen as an extension of Paul’s letter to the Colossians. “Our goal is that you will grow deeply in the knowledge of God’s will for every part of creation, that you will become deeply rooted in Christ through the Spirit, and that you will be equipped to live according to the new order of Christ, bearing the fruits of the Spirit that bring transformation and shalom to this world. This is the counter-cultural excellence of our academic programs, and all of our “co-curricular” activities in Student Life and in the dorms.” You can read the entire address here.
Redeemer’s Chaplain, Dr. Syd Hielema, introduced the theme more directly to students in the handbook that they received when they started their year.
Paul begins Colossians with a rhapsodic hymn to Jesus: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1: 15-17).
The superlatives in these verses put us on our knees in adoration before a mystery that is far beyond our understanding. On our knees we can begin to ponder the implications of this hymn: How can it be that the vastness of the entire universe is held together in the Word made flesh? How are the shifting winds of culture and the turmoil of nations and global powers held together in Him? How is the jostling and clambering of the thousands of Christian denominations held in the one who prayed, “Father, may they be one?”
How is the disconnected confusion that often lives inside my own heart held by this Lord? During Redeemer’s 30th anniversary year, we will explore the wonder and majesty of the one whose name our university bears through questions such as these.
Each week, Chaplain Hielema or Associate Chaplain Robb Powell will send out a Monday Morning devotional for students and others in the community. This year, most of the reflections will be based on the theme, and they will be posted on this webpage shortly after they are sent out.
We hope that you will be blessed by them, and we welcome you to become part of the Redeemer community by learning with us what it means to have “All Things Held in Christ.”
Monday Morning Devos:
- September 10, 2012
- September 17, 2012