From 18-25 September 2021, the Newbold community across College and Church gathered together to hear messages of inspiration that surrounded the theme of the Week of Spiritual Emphasis: Season of Change.
Anne-May Muller, Warren Gillin, Filip Milosavljević, Dejan Stojković, Julian Thompson and Danilo Puskas took turns across the week to give their unique perspectives on ‘change’ as a concept – which is something we have all universally experienced. It made for a powerful week of testimonials, with College students immersing themselves in the worship and opening items of the messages.
On the second evening of WOSE, Theology alumna Pilira Zapita took centre stage to share her take on the Season of Change. Pilira offers an overview of this semester’s WOSE theme below.
“Newbold couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate theme for this semester’s WOSE. Not only is the whole world experiencing transition from different sources such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and social unrest, the College itself is undergoing change and this semester sees its first steps as a Centre for Mission and Ministry.
While we all inadvertently find ourselves in this season of tectonic changes, in such periods of life we need to remind ourselves of God’s promise to be especially present with us. The Bible reveals a God who has constantly longed and promised to be and live with and among His people, a desire He expresses to individuals and is particularly notable through the tabernacle/sanctuary.
The triune God exists in communion. Likewise, communion is an essential part of being human. Thus, God’s desire to be in relationship with His people is understandable, and could be said to climax in Jesus’s promise to His disciples who were troubled by the news of His departure in the rich theological Farewell Discourses of John 14-17. Ahead of a season of change when the intersection of God’s story with humanity was about to change gears, Jesus affirms the power of presence in a crisis. He promises His disciples, who were clueless about and unprepared for what was ahead of them, that they would not be left alone, and that His departure would be advantageous to them as it would release the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, to come and be with and in them (John 14:16-17). Despite the multifaceted meanings of the word Paraclete, most scholars agree that ‘helper’ is the best single word translation. Jesus would leave ‘another helper,’ one not limited to a small corner of the Roman Empire, but promised to comfort, walk alongside, abide or remain with and in the disciples, universally, forever!
As we experience seasons of change or earth-shattering moments of life, embracing by faith and experientially living out this promise and assurance of God’s friendship and abiding presence through the Holy Spirit is potent enough to settle and give peace through the uncertainty and instability that change can bring. Experiencing life with the Paraclete allows us access to divine help, step by step guidance and counsel, even offering clarity on how God envisions our participation in His mission of healing, restoration and reconciliation of creation. Our need for the Paraclete is immense in this period of many voices which all call us in different directions! After all, when everything is stripped from us as the Covid pandemic has shown, all we have left is Jesus and His presence in us through the Paraclete. This is our life. It is our future.”
The talks from the Week of Spiritual Emphasis are now all available to watch on demand!Relive WOSE now!