At The Chapel, we help people meet, know and follow Jesus on the campus of LSU, in the city of Baton Rouge and around the world. On this Vision Sunday, we unveil our God-sized 10-year vision of The Chapel, framing where we are going in 2020 and beyond!
Everyone in the New Testament responded to the news of Christ’s birth differently. Christmas from our perspective is quite different than Christmas from their perspective. We will learn from Mary, Joseph, Herod, and Jesus about the incarnation. Each perspective is unique and teaches us about responses that all of us have to the news of the incarnation.
Due to the massive flooding in our area, we turn to Nehemiah, a biblical witness of building. In this book, we see the nation of Israel rebuild following their captivity. It is a physical effort predicated on a spiritual renewal lead by Ezra as the people reclaim their city, their heritage, and in many ways their lives. The result is a nation reborn.
Through Nehemiah, God teaches us there is not separation of the sacred and secular in our own lives. The spiritual renewal in Ezra and the physical rebuilding in Nehemiah "are interwoven in a seamless fabric of vocational holiness."
Jesus ascended to heaven and is literally gone from the earth now. However, He continues to “work with [his disciples]” and us by sending the Holy Spirit, the Helper, invisible from our eyes. So who is the Holy Spirit, what does the Holy Spirit do, and how can we experience the Holy Spirit?
They were just ordinary fishermen making an ordinary living when Jesus walked by. They were minding their own business, casting for fish and mending their nets.
With one command, Jesus changed everything. “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of me,” and they did. They left family business and familiar surroundings. They followed immediately, showing neither reluctant fear nor selfish thought. They sought no other counsel than the sound of his voice.
He didn’t map out the first step or outline a comprehensive plan of action. He explained neither corporate nor kingdom structure. He made no promises, offered no bonuses. He simply offered himself and invited them to follow him.
He spoke the language of fishing they understood and then redefined it. He redirected their perspective from the dark waters of an inland sea to fields that were ready for harvest. He replaced their jobs with a mission, and challenged them to life instead of just making a living. He called them to make his purpose theirs.
Their first step took them to places they would never have imagined. They left behind the sea to travel dusty roads. They left a thriving business along the shore to stand in sorrow at the foot of the cross. They followed Jesus from Galilee to Golgotha.
Simon, Andrew, James and John. Four men who chose to follow Jesus. His call to follow is not for these four alone. He is calling all of us to leave behind our pride and preconceptions, to discover who he is and learn from him, and to follow him to the end of the age.
We invite you to join us as we study the Book of Mark and rediscover The Lost Art of Following Jesus.