Welcome to Covenant! No matter how stressful your first two weeks at Covenant have been, you can rest assured that you are exactly where God in His sovereign and gracious decree has placed you.
I hope you find a home on campus, whether it’s in the winding halls of Founders or the pristine rooms of Andreas. I hope you find good friends, because just as iron sharpens iron, godly companions will spur you on in your walk with Christ.
But most importantly, I hope you find solace in regular attendance at a Christ-centered local church. Although this is a Christian college, many students are disconnected from the body for which Christ died.
In my past two years of Covenant, the excuses I’ve heard for neglecting corporate worship on Sunday morning baffled me. The most frequent were: “I stayed up late Saturday night,” or “I have tons of homework.”These explanations reveal more than just a busy schedule or a lifestyle of sleep deprivation. They reveal heart values. A heart that longs for the things of God will not find the burden of waking up at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning too heavy, even if it means going to bed earlier on Saturday night.
Let’s not confuse Christian discipline with legalism. Sacrificing for the sake of Sabbath rest is evidence of a faith in God’s promise to meet with his people in a special way in corporate worship. The blessing of living in obedience to the fourth commandment is a promised presence that isn’t found in our personal devotions (as important as they are!) or in chapel.
The glory that fills Christ’s church each week as the saints come together in worship is what makes this life worth living. It’s the place God promises to meet us. His special presence in the Word and sacraments sanctifies, convicts, and strengthens us to read the next chapter and write the next paper for Christ’s glory and not for ourselves.
Freshmen, the best thing you can do for your soul is to find a church where the work of Christ on your behalf is the predominant message and worship there regularly. Invest in the saints there. Commit to membership, if you are able. Pursue mentorship from older and wiser believers. Love the Church, because Christ loved the Church enough to die to save her.
My friends, honestly evaluate your hearts. Do your innermost desires reflects that of the Psalmist?
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; / My flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. / So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.” Psalm 63:1-2 (italics mine).