Real Hope On Every Campus
I love this story at the end of Luke’s gospel- It’s about two followers of Jesus who are headed away from Jerusalem to a town called Emmaus. It was the Sunday after the crucifixion. They had just seen Rome do its worst to Jesus, and they didn’t know that he had risen.
They were sad and confused and talking about everything that had happened, when Jesus shows up and starts to walk alongside them. Now, they didn’t recognize him, and Jesus asks, “What are you talking about?” They say, "You haven’t heard? Jesus of Nazareth... He was a prophet who spoke and acted with power before all the people... And our leaders handed him over to be crucified. He’s dead. And we, We hoped that he was the one who would redeem Israel."
I think this story gets to the heart of the experience of many college students. These disciples lived their lives in a story that said, “Follow the Messiah to Jerusalem! He’ll lead you to a military victory, the defeat of Rome. And that is not what they saw happen. Students live their lives in a story that says, "Go to college! You’ll achieve the good life, you’ll have health, wealth, and blessing, security, comfort, and success.
They arrive full of hope, and they leave sad and confused when their expectations meet the reality of the real world.
You see, they have placed their hope in the wrong story.
But Jesus doesn’t leave us without hope. On the road to Emmaus he unpacks for his followers the greater story they were really living in--the one where God remains faithful to his promise to redeem all creation, and how the real hope they were looking for was standing right in front of them.
In Alabama, we long to see students encountering that same story. We want students to know who Jesus really is, and that when the reality of this world does it’s worst, when sin & death rip our lives apart, that there is REAL HOPE to be found in Jesus.
In Alabama, there are 51 Colleges and Universities, and 25 of them have no apparent Witnessing Community. Of those that do, 13 of them only have one. There are far too many students who don’t have a space to encounter that story of hope.
At InterVarsity, We long to see students experiencing REAL HOPE on Every Campus in Alabama.
In order to see that happen, we need a lot of help praying for and cultivating the work. I want to invite you to come with us as we follow Jesus into Real Hope.
Area Director, Alabama