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Reflection: Changing the Structure

The following is an excerpt from the liturgy at our New Year’s worship held on campus last week. It is entitled “Changing the Structure” by Hannah Canterbury
Probably very few of us have built a home from the soil up, from laying the concrete and then the frame, and I actually have no idea the true order, so I’ll stop there. But I’d like to use this metaphor of home remodeling, for just a bit here. Although my knowledge is only from the HGTV shows that my roommates are in love with.
So here we are at the new year, we already have this “house” it’s gone through many coats of paint and color scheme changes and some new pinterest decor but the foundation and structure really hasn’t changed, the walls are in the same place, and we haven’t taken on any complete remodeling yet. But maybe this is the year, to knock down some walls we built up long ago, or maybe create and add on. Sure it might not be as easy to get creative since we aren’t working with a blank slate of concrete so let us work with what’s here.
Here we are individuals in the world of academia, we are siblings, parents, friends, lovers, not to mentioned stressed, happy, and maybe worn out by the seemingly similar daily life of college.
So we don’t have a clean slate, but we are challenged to take on this whole “new year, new me” trend. How is this going to work when I already have built this entire home, entire life. Jesus told us in the parable that the home built on stone, lasted through the seas and winds, it still stood. And maybe this year we are looking to stand a bit stronger against the winds and the seas that surround us. But changing our hair, or diet, or any habits might not be enough, God wants to infiltrate our structure this year.
As individuals of the academic world our lives can sometimes seem overwhelmingly monotonous; classes, projects, work, and constantly questioning what we want to do with the rest of our lives while balancing a healthy social life of course. And eventually, well for me by the third year, you get to the point of maybe feeling like you have gotten the hang of this college thing.
But here is the new year bringing new challenges and a new semester, calling in the need for some personal renovations. Renovations beyond just our appearance, and bad eating habits. In Matthew Jesus shares a parable asking us to renovate our very foundation with the help of God, to use stone rather than sand.
Although our college lives may seem uncontrollable at times, yes you must take a GA, HT, SSC, and Religion class, and park in only these 2 lots, but at the very core, the structure of our life God is there to provide change; change of heart, mind and spirit. With having faith in our structure, the wind and waters will rise and fall without tearing down our walls.
Now as terrifying as it can seem, there is more to this call of personal renovation. We aren’t just called to live in this world alone, in a well-built house empowered and supported by God, but rather we are called to live in this world together, which means taking on our neighbors remodeling also.
Today when we look outside our windows per say or just turn on the news, we are surrounded by injustice, poverty, inequality, sadness, and oppression. And guess what God is looking for us to take on some responsibility.
It’s not to much to ask this year right? Be the best you you can be, and while you are at it, make the world the best it can be too.
We aren’t going at this alone, just as God will step into the open door of our hearts and minds to remodel us. God is here to give us the support, love and push and ability to turn the lights on in the world around us. It won’t be just a simple prayer or a day of awareness, but rather a life of doing, going out as Isaiah said and sharing food, inviting the homeless, clothing the cold and being available to our friends and family. It will take action and God is here as always in this new year to use us to change the world.


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