Many Parts…One Body

Wye Huxford, Vice President of Spiritual Formation shares his thoughts on our last Chapel service of the spring 2016 semester.

Thursday evening, 21 April, was our final community-wide chapel service for the 2015-16 Academic Year at Point University. It was an incredible service.

Our spiritual formation theme for the year has been “Many Parts . . . One Body.” Paul’s words to that effect in 1 Corinthians 12:12 have been a part of many, many things on our campus this year.

As a part of the service, we wanted to create a visual image of “many parts . . . one body” and one of our students, Caroline Stinson, went to the Lego store and came back with this Point P – made up of 600+ lego blocks. It was on display at the entrance to the part of the West Point First United Methodist Church we use for these services.

Chapel began with a great performance from a gospel choir made up of Point students, staff, and faculty. That group was led by Garrett Motes, one of our great students who have worked to plan chapel this year. That was followed by a really neat video review of the year, created by one of the Theology in Life Project Groups from this semester’s Theological Foundations for the Christian Life class. Justin Moss was team leader for this group.  Then we were blessed by a guest worship band led by Point alumnus Greg Wells. Four former Point students/graduates were in the band! Talk about “many parts . . . one body!”

Then four students from some of our public speaking classes read the text – Mark 10:35-45 – as a kind of choral reading of the text. They were coached by Sarah Huxford, who teaches some of our public speaking classes. The sermon was a team effort – literally – by four students who are taking a Preaching Seminar this semester focused on the Gospel of Mark. The focus of their sermon was that this story from Mark tells us that Jesus radically redefines discipleship – meaning that being fruitful and fulfilled in our lives will always be more important than being successful and happy as the world defines those terms. They even dared to suggest that sometimes the church gets those terms confused!

By the time the sermon was ending, they were calling us to look at a radically different way of following Jesus – a way that would mean we must listen to God’s call on our lives, not the world’s; be willing to befriend uncomfortable people instead of only those with whom we are comfortable; we must love deeply rather than judge silently; and we must live in Jesus’ victory instead of pursuing our own idea of self-dignity.  Their sermon was deeply biblical in content, extraordinarily relevant to their audience, and preached well and with passion. It was a home run! Point continues to educate and prepare some great young preachers!

At the end of the service, students were reminded that as they entered, they passed by the “Point P” made of many, many Lego blocks. Then they were encouraged to take one of those Lego blocks home with them for the summer – as a kind of reminder that they were one of the “many parts” that make up the community known as Point University, a part of the One Body of Christ.

Looking at these pictures – I’m reminded, as I look at the one to the right, of just how many people took a Lego block home last night. There were over 600 pieces in the Point P. But looking at the one at the top of this page, I am reminded of just how beautiful it is when “the many parts” are together as “one body.” Or, as we said at the end of chapel last night – “many Legos . . . One P.”

Just before chapel began, Caroline – the student who made sure the Point P showed up – gave me a little Lego man she bought for me at the Lego store. As we were cleaning up after chapel, I decided to take two Lego blocks – one of each of Point’s colors – and use them somewhere in my office. If you’ve been in my office you know there

is “stuff” everywhere. All that “stuff” reflects 40 years of hanging out with ACC/Point students and other kingdom endeavors. I put my little Lego man right in front of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics – certainly one of the most important theological works of the 20th Century.

While the “stuff” in my office may appear to be the result of some sort of “random selection/placement” gone amuck, most of it is where it is for a reason. This little Lego man will remind me of just how important Jesus wants us to take His prayer that the church would be One, as He and the Father are One and just how seriously Paul expected the fractious Corinthian believers to take his admonition about “many parts . . . one body.” And – if you think about it – the idea of “one body . . . many parts” is certainly one of the most important theological ideas of the first century! Placement has meaning in my office.

And to think, I get paid to hang out with Point students!

-Wye Hyxford, Vice President of Spiritual Formation