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Running From, Running To

Hundreds of millions of Christians across the globe are currently in observance of the season of Lent, a period of fasting and prayer in preparation for Holy Week and Easter. My whole family is participating in the fast this year for the first time. Already, my kids are missing desserts at grandma’s. 

On Ash Wednesday, the inaugural day of the fast, my pastor preached about the Exodus story. He often does. In the escape from Egypt after the display of God’s power over the kingdoms of the world, we have a lasting analogy (archetype is the fancy word) of God’s persistent interaction with his people: he redeems us out of slavery. Over and over again. The call to remember their deliverance is one maintained today by Jewish people throughout the world. Because God saved his people then, we know he will save his people in the future.

But something struck me in my pastor’s sermon that I hadn’t noticed before. It is one of those things that is so present in the text that we are sometimes too close to see it. We need someone to point out the thing that is right under our noses. 

Here it is: when the Israelites flee from Egypt they are not only running away from the slavery and oppression they experienced in their exile; they are running to the Promised Land. Obvious, right? They were not just leaving one place but going to another.

But this has mind-blowing spiritual implications. Too often, we treat the fasting part of Lent (the running away from Egypt) as the most important element. Too rarely, we think about what we are running to. We fast from Netflix or sugar or social media, but it can be easy for the time to slip by without using that saved time (or money, or calories) in a productive way. But the point of Lent is not simply to give something up but to gain something else. We work with the help of the Holy Spirit to put sin to death not only to rid ourselves of sin but to clear the way for righteous, Christ-like living. 

When I talk with students about Easter, I tell them that the major events we commemorate during that weekend–Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday–are both vital and inseparable from Christian truth. On Good Friday, we remember that Christ took our sins upon his body; on Resurrection Sunday, we remember that Christ defeated death and gave us access to new life. The Apostle Paul, as always, says it most eloquently: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3-4). Dead, buried, released from sin. Risen, alive, free to live like Christ.

So we run from Egypt to the Promised Land, from our sin to righteousness, from death to new life. We give up so that we may gain. We fast so we can feast.

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STEM Night 2023

STEM Night was a great success, as students showcased their work through capstone projects, clubs, and competitions. Over 30 projects and interactive demos were highlighted during the evening. In addition, select students received awards for their innovation, creativity, and service through STEM. 

Read More about STEM Night 2023