Every year around this time we begin to have a new set of neighbors descend upon this community. Students come to Moscow and Pullman from all over the northwest and from all over the world. A number of students will come here to Trinity, and this adds dimensions and dynamics to the kind of congregation we are. And, there are any number of reasons people might have for not being excited about this. College students are loud and obnoxious, they think they know everything, they get into trouble, they can be socially cliquish or awkward, itís harder to find seats on Sunday morning, or itís just difficult to find the people youíre trying to see and talk to, and the list goes on. But the exhortation from Scripture is to be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Eph. 5:1-2). These students are people that God is bringing us to love. Each year, he gives us brothers and sisters to care for, to bless, to encourage, and to befriend. Do not see these young people as getting in the way of our community or fellowship; see them as the community and fellowship that God is calling you to embrace. And do not forget as you do so that there are many others outside who will not show up on Sunday. These are the students piled into the coffee shops, the students being loud at all hours of the night, the students who think main street is a drag strip, the students who steal your parking places and walk around town looking lost and confused. And you are no less called to minister grace to them. Jesus looked on the multitudes with compassion because they were like sheep having no shepherd and he said the harvest is plentiful, pray that the God of the harvest would send workers for the harvest. Therefore walk in love as Christ has loved you and given himself for you, and give yourself to loving these neighbors, caring for their needs, and befriending them and showing them kindness. Be grace to them.
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