Remaining in Christ

By Bailie Rouse on November 10, 2017

This week in Chapel, Dr. Joy Bonnema spoke on how producing fruit occurs when an individual remains in Christ, and this remaining happens through love. Often as Christians, we often forget the importance of remaining or abiding in Christ. If we abide in Him, then God will call us into a deeper understanding and a more personal experience of His love. Dr. Bonnema’s main texts include John 15:1-17 and…

Reformation Chapel

By Bailie Rouse on October 27, 2017

In this week’s chapel, Dr. Wittmer recognized the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Dr. Wittmer asked the same question Luther did 500 years ago: “How can I a miserable sinner pass God’s judgment,” and there is only one answer. By grace alone, by faith alone, and in Christ alone can we receive salvation. His main texts include Colossians 2:9-10 and Colossians 3:23-24. Check out…

Jesus on Justice

By Bailie Rouse on October 20, 2017

Last week in chapel, Rev. Dr. Howard Earle preached out of Luke 4:14-21 on the topic of Jesus on Justice. He reminded us that the Spirit of the Lord empowered Jesus to carry out specific activities for the benefit and justice of people. Christ released captives and healed the blind and the deaf not for his own celebrity but in order to be in relationship with people.

The Spirit comes to empower us…

Prayer with a Regard to Justice

By Bailie Rouse on October 13, 2017

In chapel this week, Dr. Tim Gombis spoke about the importance of prayer with a regard to justice. In Ephesians 4:20-24, Paul reminds believers that we are to put off the old self and be renewed in the Spirit to put on the new self. This new self is created after the likeness of the Lord’s righteousness and justice. As believers we participate in an ongoing dynamic of righteousness, and we must take…

Mercy Not Sacrifice

By Bailie Rouse on October 6, 2017

This week, Dr. Mariano Avila concentrated the chapel message around the attribute of mercy. He stressed that mercy is the “main medicine” Jesus gave his people to receive true healing. Jesus is our example of how to live in a way that is according to the will of God, and the Gospels show us how to live as Jesus lived.  In Matthew 9:13 Jesus refers to Hosea 6:6, and he stresses that God desires mercy…

Rejected by the Accepted

By Bailie Rouse on September 26, 2017

Last week in chapel, Jennifer Greer brought us a message based on Luke 4:14-30. In this passage, Jesus traveled to Nazareth, his hometown, and as was his custom, Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath to speak. Jesus picked up the scroll, and he began to read from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-2 and Isaiah 58:6). Upon doing so, Jesus proclaimed that the scripture had been fulfilled and that this…

A Heart for Justice

By Bailie Rouse on September 20, 2017

Last week, Dr. John Hilber continued the theme of justice with his sermon entitled "Heart for Justice," by exploring Psalm 101, a psalm of David. In his message, Dr. Hilber emphasized that David drives straight to the heart of the matter—justice and mercy demand that an individual's character be aligned and committed to the Lord.

Waiting with Confidence

By Brittany Stichter on April 21, 2017

As Dr. Walter Gibson began his message this week (entitled "Waiting with Confidence"), he asked two introductory questions: "How does it make you feel when someone goes out of his/her way to ask how you are doing?" and "How does it make you feel when no one asks how you are doing or what is going on in your life?"

He drew a message from the text which exhorts believers to encourage each other. As…

Waiting with Faith

By Brittany Stichter on April 14, 2017

This week in chapel, Dr. Don Denyes spoke a message called "Waiting with Faith" which was based on John 2:19. Like the disciples in this passage, "we are slow to believe everything the Scripture says. We have Kingdom in our theology, and glory, but we don't have suffering and cross." Jesus patiently explained the promises of the Scriptures to His disciples until they finally got it. In the same way…

Waiting with Discernment

By Brittany Stichter on April 7, 2017

Lenski Llorens gave a message in chapel this week based on Acts 27, when Paul was shipwrecked on his way to Rome. Lenski shared about our need to wait with discernment, faithfully pursuing God's plan for our lives and not depending on human wisdom.

"If you look back, wherever you are now, if you honestly look back, are you able to say 'I am here because I have inquired of the Lord and He has reassured…

Waiting Well

By Brittany Stichter on March 31, 2017

Sharon Brown began this week's chapel by praying with us Psalm 130, a Psalm written by one who was waiting on a forgiving God. Sharon gently pointed out to us that, while we are frustrated when our internet takes ten seconds too long to load, we are willing to wait in a three-hour line at an amusement park. So, it must not be the waiting itself that is the problem, but instead our perception of the…

Waiting with Hope (When We’ve Blown It)

By Brittany Stichter on March 24, 2017

This week in chapel, Darrell Yoder gave a message that addressed when we've "blown it," and are waiting for healing and forgiveness. His message explored how we can wait and rest and deal with our sin, while still moving forward.

In Psalm 25:1-7, King David prays through a time of waiting in shame and pain. Darrell draws out three lessons from these verses for us. First of all, Darrell points out…

Waiting with Compassion

By Brittany Stichter on March 17, 2017

Marco Salazar spoke in this week’s chapel.  He began by helping us consider that we already understand what it means to wait with anticipation.  We have experienced it in waiting for a diploma, waiting before your wedding day, or waiting for Christmas morning.  In the same way, we also wait in anticipation for Jesus’ return.  But while we understand waiting with anticipation, we may wonder how compassion…

Waiting with Promise

By Brittany Stichter on March 3, 2017

This week's chapel speaker was our own Dr. Jonathan Greer. He explored "waiting with promise" through the lens of the Old Testament.

As he led our students through an experience of the story of Moses and the people of Israel during the time of the Exodus, we were able to understand afresh that they all waited under the promise God had given to them. They waited for the promises to be fulfilled, but…

Waiting with Correction

By Brittany Stichter on February 24, 2017

Pastor Nate Wagner brought a message this week that explored the idea of "waiting with correction." He opened by sharing the image of an airplane flying from one coast to another: if that plane takes off and starts its course even one degree off, it will end up at a drastically different end point. He also informed us that planes are actually "on course" for only about 5% of their travels. Flying is…

Theology of Waiting

By Brittany Stichter on February 17, 2017

This week in chapel, Dr. Mike Wittmer spoke from Hebrews 9:28 about a theology of waiting. He began by sharing that though waiting is subjective, it has an objective focus. For Christians, the object of our waiting is the return of Christ. The wait is hard because it humbles us and reminds us we are not in control. We wait for the salvation that Jesus will bring when He returns, but we do not determine…

Waiting with Power

By Brittany Stichter on February 10, 2017

In this week's chapel, Jennifer Greer brought us a message based on Acts 1:1-44. In this passage, the disciples wait between the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Luke reminds his readers that Jesus is Who He says He is, and will accomplish what He says He will.

Based on this truth about Jesus, we can be confident that we will receive the power of the Holy Spirit, because Jesus tells…

Waiting with Commitment

By Brittany Stichter on February 3, 2017

Susan Rieske spoke in this week's chapel service. The message she brought, based on 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, explored waiting with commitment—having a radical commitment to God and His mission. As she reminded us, we can have nothing but still possess everything.

Susan also reminded us that enduring our present sufferings is different from the way distance runners endure: while distance runners often…

An Appropriate Anticipation: Waiting with Hope

By Brittany Stichter on January 27, 2017

Our semester-long chapel theme is "An Appropriate Anticipation: Waiting with Hope," which comes on the heels of our semester-long reflections on lament. The anticipation theme's key passage is Isaiah 40:31. This week, Dr. Peter Osborn introduced the theme for the semester by exploring the idea of waiting and having the strength to wait well.

Peter explored Isaiah 40:27-31, voicing the frustration…

Lamenting with Naomi

By Brittany Stichter on December 2, 2016

This week, Pastor Artie Lindsay looked at Naomi as an example of lamenting well. He drew out three points from Naomi's story:

We have to be honest about the reality of life in a broken world. So often, we struggle to allow lament to exist, being tempted to call ourselves and others to move on or "consider [trials] pure joy" (James 1:2). Pastor Lindsay pointed out, "The Bible calls us to mourn with…

Intercultural Lecture Series: Pastor Kizombo Kalumbula Casts Vision for True Compassion in Grand Rapids

By Andrew Kischner on October 26, 2016

During his lecture, Kizombo Kalumbula identified what many in Grand Rapids already understand—that Grand Rapids delivers a Garden-of-Eden-esque existence for some while others do not experience the same benefits. For some, Grand Rapids defines 'family-friendly'; for others, it is, economically, one of the worst places to raise a family.* At the same time, Grand Rapids is ranked among the most charitable…

Lamenting with Integrity

By Brittany Stichter on October 21, 2016

This week, Dr. Robert Lehman explored the integrity of lament, using Job as a case study. Through his experience as a pastor and a counselor, Dr. Lehman has observed many who lament with integrity, but he has also observed many who do not.

Scripture repeatedly presents and describes Job as a man of integrity, and this extends to his expressions of lament. Dr. Lehman drew our attention to the fact…

Tears

By Brittany Stichter on October 14, 2016

Pastor Joy Bonnema led us this week in chapel through a very tangible practice of lamenting. Regarding the chapel service, she wrote, "For anyone who is burdened by the headlines, aching with grief, overwhelmed with sorrow, tempted to despair or frustrated with systems and situations that never seem to change, this chapel is for you. Keeping with the theme of lament we're going to revisit John 11 using…

Ministry Goes, Sees and Feels

By Brittany Stichter on October 7, 2016

This week in chapel, Pastor Joe Lane spoke to us from Luke 19:41 about ministry. He pointed out that we need to go to ministry, that we need to see ministry and that we need to feel ministry. Since Jesus approached Jerusalem, Pastor Lane challenged us to go to ministry. He challenged us to—the next time we are at our churches—stop and look around. Where are the real needs in our churches? Finally,…

Praying Lament

By Brittany Stichter on September 30, 2016

This week in chapel, Dr. Gombis and Dr. Greer helped us to sit in the story of Lazarus' death and Mary's reaction to it (John 11:28-37). They invited us to "soak in the story and lament alongside Scripture."

They briefly looked at the New Testament's perspective on lament, but spent the majority of chapel praying as a community. "In the New Testament, lament is portrayed as truth speaking about the…

The Virtues of Lament: How Lament Arises from Faith, Hope and Love

By Brittany Stichter on September 23, 2016

In this week's chapel, Dr. Mike Wittmer posed that the language of lament is not on our lips because we do not exercise faith in God's power over all things, hope for the new creation and love for our hurting brothers and sisters. If we have full faith, we believe that God will remedy wrongs. We do not grieve without hope, because we believe that God has a plan. It takes true love to grieve for and…

Walls

By Brittany Stichter on April 1, 2016

In this week's chapel, Darrell Yoder gave a message entitled "Walls" from Ephesians 2:11-22. He drew our attention to walls in our personal lives and in the Church as a whole, going back even to the Jews and Gentiles in the early Church.

On the cross, Jesus demolished the walls between us and the Father. He also demolished the walls between us and those who are different than us. While it doesn't…

Jesus as Our Purposeful Example

By Brittany Stichter on March 25, 2016

In this week's chapel, Pastor Joe Lane brought a message from Philippians 2:5-11, exploring "Jesus as our Purposeful Example." He describes how Jesus' purpose affected other areas of His life and how His example relates to us.

Jesus' purpose was more important than His pleasure, power, prominence, or pain. Ours is too. Our God-given purpose cannot be fulfilled if we are not becoming like Christ.

Most Likely, Least Likely

By Brittany Stichter on February 26, 2016

This week in chapel, Jennifer Greer began by playing a game with the chapel community. She asked questions like "Are you most or least likely to ride a roller coaster?" and "Are you most or least likely to eat liver?" Through her message, she shared how Jesus often chooses the least likely to use in big ways. When Jesus healed the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19, only one came back to Jesus. The only leper…

GRTS Chapel: "An Appropriate Presence: Living as the People of God"

By Kris Rolls on February 1, 2016

Every Wednesday morning at GRTS, we gather as a community to worship God and reflect on His word. Chapel is an important part of who we are as a seminary. It's an intentional time for us to pause our work, turn off our technology and stop our lectures to gather as the people of God in worship.

Here is the chapel schedule this semester. Chapel is held on Wednesday mornings from 9:50 a.m. - 10:30 a…