College/Young Adult ministry leader tells PMA chapel-goers about ‘our divine GPS’ who accompanies our transitions
January 7, 2022
When Jasmine Evans reads Scripture, she often imagines what the people who are not heard from in the story are thinking and feeling.
During a recent online chapel service for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the pastoral intern at Faith Point Fellowship, a 1001 New Worshiping Community and college/young adult ministry in Greensboro, North Carolina, put her self-described “holy imagination” to work.
Preaching from Deuteronomy 31:7–8, Evans focused on the one who didn’t speak in the text — Joshua, who only listened as Moses told him with all of Israel present that he would be the one to lead the people into the land God had promised them.
“Moses is 120 years old, saying, ‘Listen I’m out of here, you’re now leading this beautiful thing God has for us,’” Evans said. “Meanwhile, Joshua is thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this. Why did you tell me in front of everybody?’”
Evans helped lead worship using the “God is With Us in Every Season,” resource which she co-authored with the Rev. British Hyrams, campus minister at North Carolina Central University. The resource was written for UKirk Collegiate Ministries in partnership with the Office of Christian Formation.
Relating to what Joshua might have been feeling as Moses announced this leadership transition plan, Evans spoke of feeling alone and questioning one’s ability to lead.
“The weight is heavy on us, the weight of leading and moving people,” she said. “Strategizing, vision and mission work, all of it is a hard load to bear. Like Joshua, we might be saying to ourselves, ‘I don’t feel ready.’”
And yet, Evans pointed out, Joshua is now in charge. So, for all who have a new project, or new work, or whatever is on one’s plate, Evans had this promise to impart: “You don’t have to do it alone, for it is the Lord who has gone before you.”
“We think we’ve got to figure it out ourselves without a blueprint or plan,” she said. “We think we’ve got to get from point A to point B and we’re the only one steering the ship. So, we start from scratch.”
But for Evans, in this story of Moses telling Joshua he is now the leader of the Israelites, God’s people have been given a word — that what God starts in us, God will complete, no matter where we are.
“It’s like our divine GPS. The Holy Spirit walks with us,” she said. “The God who made us is in you. You can make that first move with faith that God will carry you every step of the way.”
Paul Seebeck, Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Morning Psalms 46 or 97; 148
First Reading Deuteronomy 8:1-3
Second Reading Colossians 1:1-14
Gospel Reading John 6:30-33, 48-51
Evening Psalms 27; 93 or 114
Today’s Focus: ‘Between Two Pulpits’
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Gina Hagan, Business Administrator, Church Engagement, Board of Pensions
Rob Hagan, Ministry Relations Officer, Presbyterian Foundation
Let us pray
Gracious God, you have blessed us to be a blessing to others. In seeking to care for others, we care for ourselves. In seeking to feed the hungry, we feed ourselves. In seeking to share our blessings, we are reconciled to become the church you created us to be. Open our hearts that we may respond always in the love of Christ. Amen.