Second President’s Chapel Further Unpacks Theme of the Year: Christ Our Greatest Friend
Amidst the festivities of Grandparents Day, Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, president of Cornerstone University, continued to dive into the theme for this academic year: Christ Our Greatest Friend, based on John 15:13-14.
Following a brief recap of the first President’s Chapel, which introduced the theme and reasons for its selection, highlighted by the growing loneliness and friendship recession epidemic sweeping the United States, President Moreno-Riaño dug into the demands of friendship. In his message, he focused on three core demands of what it means to have a true friendship:
- Knowing another and being known by another.
- Doing good for another and only receiving good from another.
- Actively sacrificing ourselves for our friends and actively receiving their sacrifices for us.
President Moreno-Riaño spent time in Genesis 4, going over the story of Cain and Abel and paying special attention to the moment Cain asks God if he is his brother’s keeper. Keeper in Hebrew means someone who watches out for the other, which is the exact model of Biblical friendship.
“Maybe this is the reason why there is a friendship recession,” said President Moreno-Riaño. “We don’t want to do this Biblical model because it’s too much work.”
In response to this challenge, he encouraged students, faculty and staff with Scripture. President Moreno-Riaño pointed to Exodus 33:17, Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139, and John 10:14, among other passages, illustrating how God knows and loves us intimately and intricately in a way that is beyond our understanding.
Through the aforementioned passages, President Moreno-Riaño went on to show that Jesus fulfills all the demands of friendship perfectly. He reminded the community that we have the blessing and privilege to have the greatest friend on our side and that it is our responsibility to act accordingly in our relationship with Him and our own friends.
In closing, President Moreno-Riaño focused on Revelation 3:20, continuing to draw attention to how Jesus perfectly encompasses the core demands of friendship and how we, as Christ’s followers, must do our best to emulate Him.