From Chaplain Jose Bourget
One of my favorite bible stories is the one about a young shepherd and a giant. You have probably heard it somewhere in church, as a figure of speech, or in a book by a best-selling author. The lead characters are David and Goliath. And just as important to the story are the additional cast of characters: the Israelite army, Saul, and the Philistine army. You can read the whole story in 1 Samuel 17. The story shapes my calling and ministry to this campus community.
A valley, a war, an enemy
Conflict unleashes courage. Confrontation reveals character. Conformity invites contest. Life happens at these unique intersections. Our diverse community presents us with unique opportunities to take on battles of Biblical proportions. These are training grounds to see the world like David saw a Giant.
My Story, Our identity
As we follow David through the text we see that his story is intertwined with the identity of Israel. When he is with the soldiers and brothers, he challenges their cowardice by reminding them who they are as a people (Aren’t you of the armies of the Living God?). David’s courage comes from seeing Israel as the people of the King of the Universe. His brothers and countrymen forget that this is their true and primary identity.
Additionally we observe David’s character has been shaped through his story when he meets with King Saul. He uses his personal testimony of overcoming lions and bears to rebuke Saul’s doubt but also to recast Goliath from a giant warrior to an animal that can be taken out with the tools of a Shepherd.
Our enemy wishes to recast our collective identity and obliterate our story by telling us a different narrative that immobilizes advancing God’s kingdom in this world (as Goliath did for 40 days).
Life on a university campus is the real world. And what we do here also prepares us for wherever our calling will take us. I want Andrew’s students to be armed with an identity of being courageous in a hostile world, a unique story that affirms Christ’s character in them, and a boldness that is willing to contest whatever giants cross their path. Here are some of the words of a piece entitled “Moving Forward” that offers a meaningful soundtrack for our students' journey.
What a moment You have brought me to
Such a freedom I have found in You
And You're the Healer who makes all things new
I'm not going back
I'm moving ahead
Here to declare to You my past is over
In You all things are made new
Surrendered my life to Christ
I'm moving moving forward