It can be hard to stop and think about the future in a time of weekly, if not daily disruption. In all the change and breaking news we wonder what’s the point in making plans or pursuing dreams? After all, so much of this year’s hopes and expectations have been drowned out by this great global shaking. And the world is still trembling. So isn’t it better to just sit back and wait for all the movement to stop?
Though much is uncertain, we are still sure that now is the time to pray and prepare for the new university year. With all of the questions and unknowns that surround campus life it can feel hard to get moving. But move we must. In prayer, in preparation and in action.
It might feel easier to sit on the river bank of “I don’t know what to do” and watch from a distance. Yet even in the uncertainty of circumstances, the invitation of God is to follow his lead, to let him show us the way to go. He wants to take hold of our hand and invite us off the banks and into the river of his activity. It’s time to step out together.
We can prepare our hearts, our minds, our faith ahead of time, even if we can’t prepare our freshers events in the way we are used to. Before we gather online for the Fusion Conference together, we can individually begin to wade into the river, step into prayer, imagination and courage as we think of student mission in September.
We aren’t here to watch the activity and insight of the Holy Spirit go rushing by us, we are here to step into what the Spirit is doing in the midst of the shaking, and go with it. We are here to journey into the deep of the river of God.
Let’s pause and take a couple of minutes to read the prophetic vision Ezekial gets of the river of God flowing out from the Temple and into the world, as written down in Ezekial 47:1-12.
The vision reveals that the river of God is flowing out from the Temple, not into it. Like Jesus-followers pouring out into the streets and onto campus, rather than all gathering in one big building, the life of God is flowing outwards and cannot be contained.
In verse 3 we read that Ezekial is led into the water up to his ankles. What does it mean for us to step into the river of God up to our ankles today? Where many of us have waited on dry land, not sure where to go next or what to do, what if today we get ankle-deep in prayer and dreaming and hope for the next season?
Why not take a few minutes to invite God’s presence into this moment? Perhaps ask him to speak to you about the ways he is moving and working right now in the world, in your student context, in you personally? As the river of his life and love continues to flow, perhaps God is asking you to get your feet wet? To get your shoes filled with his calling and purposes for the campus again.
We recognise you are moving even as the world is shaking.
Like a river of life, we thank you that you are flowing out into our streets, our homes, and our campuses.
Jesus, take us by the hand and lead us into the river of your activity.
In this moment we step off the dry land and into the movement of your Spirit, flowing with compassion and dreams for students this year.
Holy Spirit, prepare our hearts, our lives, and our feet, to be those who wade into the water of your grace and truth and power with good news for our friends and our universities.
May we get ready to be submerged into your great mission to students once again.