Global Convocation

Today’s convocation was centered around encouraging students to travel abroad during their college years. There were four students who gave personal stories about how they grew while abroad. The first student discussed the difficulty of language differences while he was trying to have a conversation with a local. He discussed the understanding he gained from this experience, and felt he could begin to relate with immigrants and refugees who did not speak the language of the country they are moving to. The next student discussed the culture shock she experienced while studying abroad in South Korea. She then gave some advice for students that were going abroad and emphasized having fun and taking advantage of the opportunity of experiencing a new culture. The third student discussed the independence she gained from studying in London for a semester. And the final student talked about the New York trip she had recently gone on. She emphasized the fact that there are trips available for people who may be uncomfortable with leaving the country for an extended amount of time. And after the student stories, the new travel opportunities for next year were announced. The faculty that will be leading these trips gave brief summaries of what the trips were all about. The convocation concluded with the opportunity to go around to different stations that represented different countries and to talk with the students that had experienced these countries.

The experience of immersing yourself in a different culture is a way to expand your worldview. This expansion of worldview is a way to grow your knowledge. Part of the Honors Program is learning about how other people know and experience the world around them. By going abroad, a student is able to get a hands-on experience of a different culture. This allows them to expand their frame of viewing the world.

I found this convocation very interesting, because traveling and experiencing other cultures are very important to me. I am slightly disappointed because many of the traveling opportunities fall on dates that I cannot be available for. This is because of how my school schedule falls and the dates of other trips fall. However, I think that studying abroad is a great opportunity that should be taken advantage of if you have the chance.


Lutheran Heritage Lecture

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson gave a lecture on Martin Luther’s definitions of Law and Gospel. She began each section of her speech with a misconception about Law and Gospel and then continued to explain what was wrong with it. She concluded each section by explaining the way that the Law and Gospel should be viewed. The first misconception was that the Old Testament is all law and the New Testament is all gospel. Dr. Wilson explained that there is Law and Gospel in both portions of the Bible. The main correct point that she emphasized in this portion was that “The law is what God commands. The gospel is what God gives.” The next incorrect idea that she addressed was once people have the gospel, they can get rid of the law. Dr. Wilson explained that this is a very selfish way to view Law and Gospel. The Law and Gospel are all about Jesus, not about the person receiving it. The third and final fallacy is that God the Father was very angry at creation, Jesus went down and saved the earth, and that act moved God the Father very deeply and so he forgave us. She explained that this was wrong because God has loved us even before humans loved him. His wrath is a facet of how he shows his love because it directs us towards him. In his law, God commands us to forgive one another. Dr. Wilson argued that to forgive is to begin working on repairing the rupture in creation that has been caused by sin.

The message of following Jesus’ example is a concept that we are working on this semester in honors. We are learning about hearing the voices of marginalized people and how to help them in the best way possible. By listening to people on the margins of society, we are reflecting God’s love to the world. A portion of the second section that Dr. Wilson mentioned was that God’s limitless love flows into us and is given to us freely. In turn, we cannot help but let that love continue flowing into our everyday lives and into our service to others.

I really enjoyed Dr. Wilson’s lecture. It was interesting and well researched. She was able to convey many core themes of the Lutheran faith in a concise format that was easy to understand and listen to. The key points that I have come away with from this lecture are the differences between Law and Gospel, the connecting point between Law and Gospel(Christ!), and the importance of forgiveness.