Nathan Peterson is a writer on InterVarsity's Communications Team in Madison, Wisconsin. He formerly was the Urbana 18 writer. When he’s not at work, you can find him working on his book, at the gym, or watching movies at home. You can support his ministry at donate.intervarsity.org/donate#21293.
Over 40,000 students on eight campuses with only one known campus ministry in the most post-Christian city in the US. That was the situation InterVarsity Associate Area Director Jessica Pafumi found herself in when she felt God calling her to plant campus ministries in her hometown of Springfield-Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 2019.
What if we had more childlike wonder in our lives? How would our interactions with God be different? How would we interact with family and professors and classmates differently? What would we talk and dream about?
Hey man, could we talk soon? As a campus minister with Greek InterVarsity at Indiana University (IU) for six years, Jimmy had received texts like this before. But never one from someone like Matt, who’d been gone from IU for five years.
I’ve begun to see how fundamental hospitality is within God’s DNA. And since we’re God’s kids, called to follow his example (Eph 5:1), I see how hospitality needs to be a high priority—whether that’s how we approach freshmen on campus, the new person at work, or visitors to our congregations or small groups, just like Scripture says in Hebrews 13:2
This strong blend of butterflies, anxiety, and excitement that accompanies a freshman’s first day on campus has always been there. But COVID took things to a whole new level. Many freshmen never even had the chance to tour campus.
As we remember our Lord and Savior’s sacrifice this Easter, take some time to reflect on these passages and questions. Pray for fresh eyes and an ability to place yourself within each passage. Read them more than once to fully soak them in. And may the Holy Spirit fill us all with a renewed sense of wonder and delight as we celebrate the empty tomb!