By Delaney Young
“Being American is more than the pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.” -- Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate
Of all the beautiful words spoken and sung last Wednesday at President Biden’s Inauguration, these are the ones still circuiting my mind. Maybe because I was so inspired to see someone like me, female and twenty-two years old, stand before the whole country and eloquently exhort it to do better; or maybe because she spoke with such striking authority and conviction—regardless, Gorman’s words moved me, and as I sat on my living room floor watching history unfold on TV, I felt the weight of their truth.
The idea that living rightly and living well is a costly, involved, communal responsibility is not just American; it’s Biblical. It’s very “Fellows”, too. We read a book at the beginning of the year called Visions of Vocation by Dr. Steve Garber, and one of its main arguments is that knowledge equals responsibility. To know someone is to be held accountable for stewarding that relationship with care and respect. To know a secret or a statistic or someone’s story is to be responsible for stewarding that knowledge with sincerity and discretion. I’ve been mulling that over since September, and it just keeps becoming more and more true to me. To be Christian is to know Christ, and to know Christ is to be responsible for loving our neighbors, living generously, and speaking the truth in love. Our faith is so much more than a ticket that secures us a spot in Heaven. In other words, being [Christian] is more than the [eternity] we inherit. It’s the [world] we step into and how we repair it.
We have a higher calling than twiddling our thumbs until eternity comes. Of course, grace is what saves us, not works. But knowing that grace has saved us, we are responsible for living accordingly; God’s grace calls us further up and further in to new life and great purpose. Jesus’ last instructions for his disciples, what we now refer to as the Great Commission, were essentially to step into the world and repair it. Admittedly, it can feel like an overwhelmingly lofty and unattainable mission. But everyday, we step into micro-worlds that need repairing: our places of work, our homes, our churches, our neighborhoods, our schools, etc. And God has given each of us tools to use as we go about our repairing in those spheres of influence.
What I love about the Capital Fellows program is that it not only encourages us to step into those worlds and repair them but also equips us for that mission. All of our conversations at Roundtable and during the retreats, all of our essay prompts and internship responsibilities point back to the idea that there is work to be done in the here and now and that, through the Holy Spirit, God has given us everything we need to do that work well. Fellows is training us to notice the needs of the world and to discern where and how we can step in and repair.
The starting point of all of this is love. Because we know the love of God, we have the beautiful and life-giving responsibility to follow His lead—“we love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our beloved-ness does not permit us to be static and stationary, but compels us to share, empathize, learn, forgive, celebrate, live, and love in community with others to the glory of God. Ultimately, this is how we will repair the world that we are called to step into: living into our beloved-ness will enable us to repair, restore, and rebuild.
We would be missing the point if we viewed this mission as cleanup crew drudgery. It’s not relegation. This mission is an invitation to partner with the Almighty God in life-giving, transformative work. The world is charged with the grandeur of God, decorated with His love and care. Creation perpetually sings God’s praise, despite all of its the brokenness and need. So when we step into the world to repair, we ought to be prepared to marvel, too. I’m grateful for a God who does not ask us to hide from the vast, beautiful, complex world that He created and for a community of people here who encourage each other to step into that world responsibly, graciously, purposefully, and lovingly.
Pictures from the Week
Making Sam’s famous two-ingredient bagels!
Saturdays at the Sitch look like this...
Become A Capital Fellow in 2021-22
We are now receiving applications for Season 15 of the Capital Fellows program!
The next program year runs from late August 2021 through mid-May 2022. If you are a college senior or recent college graduate - or know someone that is - we would love to hear from you! The Winter Application Deadline is January 15!
Want to learn more before you apply? Join an upcoming informational webinar. Click here for dates and times.
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
Please pray for the fellows as they settle into new routines and new relationships this spring. The fellows are meeting regularly with a mentor from the Capital Pres Family community. Please pray that mentors and fellows would be blessed and encouraged by each other as they walk together this year.
Want to pray for the Capital Fellows throughout the year? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.
Benefits of The Fellows Initiative
You probably already know that Capital Fellows is one of 30 fellows programs in The Fellows Initiative network. But, did you know that the sponsors of TFI offer great benefits to Capital Fellows alumni? For example, Reformed Theological Seminary offers a 33% tuition discount for 5 years. You can learn more about TFI's sponsors by clicking here. TFI is also sponsored by The Budd Group, the Gordon College Master of Financial Analysis Program, and Regent College in Vancouver.
If you know of a graduate school, seminary, employer, or other organization that would be interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact TFI by clicking here. Thanks!
Want To Read More?
Signup for the Capital Fellows blog email! Emails are sent weekly during the program year. An unsubscribe link is provided in every email.