John Mark Reynolds Devotional
John Mark started us off with a continuation of his series on Christian adulthood based on the book of Esther. Here's the next installment:
Esther Reading and Prayer
Wednesday is the center point of the week, so we put focus on central things: scripture, holiness, and worship. One of the things I love best is reading the whole biblical text aloud. It's easy to forget that the Bible was written in books, not in verses. When we read the books as a whole, we see and hear things we wouldn't otherwise find.
Dr. Joshua Smith on Holiness
Dr. Smith speaks to our students both today and tomorrow, and I'm thrilled for that opportunity. This morning, he marched us through Scripture to persuade us that holiness is a direct result of worship, and that worship is homage to a king, a lord. Then, to his own surprise, he was led to talk about how submitting to a lord is liberating, and he called our students to rededicate their lives to his kingship. It was a powerful time seeking the rulership of Jesus.
The second full discussion really starts revealing the kinks in each group's dynamics. It's a great chance to get frustrated, find the problem, and fix it together. Most of our groups did great; they're well on their way to being trained to think well by the time they leave.
This year features five artisans: an animator, a painter, a marital artist, a dancer, and a ukulele player. Students had a two hour workshop with one them in their groups, getting a taste for the difficulty of the craft and the joy of the artisan. By the end of Friday, they'll have taken a few steps toward joining the artisan in that joy. For the Leaders Track, I led brief workshops on two more of Wheatstone's methods for inviting youth into Christian adulthood: holiness and prayer.
Next, students were freed up to join staff members in some of their favorite activities: soccer, ultimate frisbee, board games, haiku writing, letter writing, yoga, volleyball, and so on. This is one of the first times in the week when students can pick an activity without their group, joining Wheatstone staff members like peers and friends.
My Double, My Brother
After an awesome opening set by Riverheart, My Double, My Brother led students in a rollicking dance party. Watching the students move with joy and freedom, full of trust for one another, was beautiful. After the set, they led us in a hymnsing. There's nothing quite like listening to a group of high school students belt Amazing Grace at the top of their lungs and mean it. It was a triumphant end to the day.
Looking ahead to Thursday
Tomorrow is in L.A. for art, discussion, exploration, and theater. It's a beautiful day: one in which students learn to encounter visual and performance culture, and where their aspirations for maturity are solidified in community. This year, first years will go to LACMA, and alumni will go to MOCA, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Grand Park, and the LA Cathedral. At the end of the day, we'll see a private rehearsal of Shakespeare's The Tempest in Griffith Park. I can't wait.
Now, to sleep.