The following is an excerpt from our Frogs First Worship reflection, written by Rachel Rebagay and Emily Ische. Thank you, ladies, and all our TCU Worship Team for your work and gift of prayer and contemplation to help our campus community begin the new school year!
In the beginning, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, wasn’t Mary the mother of Jesus. She was just Mary. A young woman who was terrified. Angels had spoken to her. She had been told that she was going to have a son and he would be Emmanuel, God with us. She didn’t know if she had what it takes to be a mother, much less the mother of Jesus. She thought she knew what her life would look like. Now her whole future had been turned upside down. She was terrified, but she wasn’t paralyzed. Because in the beginning, God. In the beginning the spirit of the living God was with her, whispering do not be afraid. Because God was with her she was able to walk into the unknown with trust and with hope and let the world be changed through her…
In the beginning, Paul was terrified. Before he was the man who dedicated his life to building the early church, he was a young man whose whole world was about to change. When he went by the name of Saul, he thought he knew everything there was to know about God. He had studied the scriptures and he believed he was right and that Jesus and those who follow him were very wrong. He was so committed to this understanding of the world that he was killing people who believed differently than him. But then, in the beginning of his life as Paul, his whole world changed. A bright light came from the skies and he went blind. Jesus spoke to him. In the beginning of his new journey, God was with him. When his eye sight returned, God gave him new eyes to see with. The people who helped him come out of his blindness were people he had previously hated. God gave him eyes to see God at work in people he had once called enemies. In the beginning God did a new thing in Paul. He could now see God at work in the world in new and bigger ways. In the beginning Paul listened, learned and let God do a new thing in him. Because he did, the world was changed through him.
In the beginning, I was confused. When you come to college, you can’t help but have this excited and anxious feeling build up inside of you. There are so many new opportunities in a new town, with new people, and a new school. At the same time, you find yourself questioning, “What am I even doing here?” I was away from my family and friends, didn’t know anyone, and was thrown into the chaos of participating in the endless “welcome to college” events at the beginning of the school year. I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t even know where I was going. Sure, I had picked my major in mechanical engineering, but is that what I really wanted to do? Is that something that I would be willing to stick with for the rest of my life? Or would I be swept up in the wave of new opportunities in college and find something completely different to fill my days? It was all so confusing as I tried to keep my head above water. But in the beginning, God was probably just as confused as us. Where do you even start? He had the world at his fingertips…a little more literally than the way we like to think that we do. But he made the most of it and created this beautiful universe out of the chaos. If anything, what came as the most comfort to me during my freshman year was knowing that even if I had all these new possibilities, God would be there. He would be there with the world at his fingertips, capable of making a path for me. Throughout my journey to “find my place” at TCU, I eventually found a community of friends who loved and supported me, upper-classmen who served as big brothers and sisters to me when I needed comfort or advice, and peers who shared the same struggles of freshman year right alongside me. But best of all, I had God to guide me through it all. He was there, in the beginning.
In the beginning, Moses didn’t think he was anyone special. In fact, he thought he was pretty terrible. He had committed a crime and he was on the run. He was young. He was not a leader. He could barely manage his own life. He was not the kind of person who could rally and lead a crowd. He was not a great speaker. He got tongue-tied and his words got tangled. He was sure that he was not the kind of person that would be called to do God’s work in this world. But, when he approached the burning bush, God called his name. “Moses, Moses. I want you to free the slaves. I want you to lead my people to the Promised Land. I want you to stand up to power and to say that oppression, that treating people like less than my beloved children, is never ok. I want you to be my voice and my hands and my feet on this earth. I will be with you. I will give you the strength and the words you need.” In the beginning God was with him. In the beginning Moses decided to use his life and his work to serve God and to serve God’s people. Because of this, the whole world was changed through him.
God is with you in this beginning. Trust God, serve God, open your eyes and heart to the new things God is doing in you. When you do, God will change the world through you!