By Jazmine Cooper

Chapel has kicked off for the 2021 fall semester, and the theme is teaching students to live as Jesus has called us to. The theme is Set Apart, meaning that we are set apart by Christ from the world. We have been chosen to shine the light of heaven in the world, which seems to be getting darker and darker. 

In order to accomplish this theme, the speakers will be walking through the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus teaches his disciples and the world how to live a life pleasing to God. This is found in Matthew 5 through 7, which is where the verses that the chapel theme is based on can be found: 

““You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.””

Matthew 5:13-17, NIV

This theme has already been tackled by Pastor David Kinnan of Fountain Spring Community Church in Rapid City, South Dakota. He spoke during Elevate Week, which is a new addition to the OKWU calendar. Elevate Week was created to put a spiritual emphasis on the first week of the semester, specifically emphasizing the chapel theme. Kinnan did an incredible job encouraging students to step out in faith and choose to live the life Jesus has set us apart to live. 

Not only did he encourage students, but he also challenged them. He told those who attended the Thursday night service that if they were really committed, then they were going to make an outward step of faith to dedicate this semester to the Lord. He asked them to take a little electric candle that had been laid out on the stage, light it, and set it inside a structure the chapel team had built. He said this was to represent what being a city on a hill looks like; this represents what it means to be the light of the world like Jesus calls us to be. 

The response that students had was incredible. Everyone came down to the stage from their seats and lit their candles, placing it inside a wooden shelf. The growing illumination was just proof that the students of Oklahoma Wesleyan are growing, stepping out in faith to be the light. They are choosing to be set apart, and they are going to make such a difference shining the light of Jesus into the darkness.