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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reflections From Passover

Each year during Passover I find myself overwhelmed with how vast God’s love is for His people. At the end of every Passover season I find God has revealed some little nugget of truth that will take me months, even years to unpack. This year it hit me as I was leading the Passover Seder at Christian Church of Thousand Oaks (CCTO), Impact CLU’s partner church. 

We had an incredible turn out. I had never lead a Seder for this many people. It was a little nerve-wracking, but so much fun! We had reached the third cup, the Cup of Redemption, which represents the third promise in Exodus 6. "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.” I shared with our group that God not only was going to lead His people out of Egypt, but He was going to teach them how to live in freedom.  As the words were coming out of my mouth, it was like God was standing in front of them speaking them to me. “Skoutz, I’ve not just brought you out of oppression, but I want to teach you how to live in freedom.” Wow! 

One of the most difficult parts of my transition to California is the tremendous amount of freedom I’ve experienced in doing ministry. I came to this realization early this semester. Very little college ministry has been done here. The only expectation is progress, no matter how big or small. The hurtful voices of past ministry experiences are fewer and far between here. No one has told me I’m sinning by doing ministry because I’m a woman. I have tremendous support from the CCTO staff. I really can’t imagine an environment where I am free to be who I am and to do ministry the way God is leading. 

The struggle comes with the fact that I’ve never been in a situation quite like this before. It reminds me of the college freshman who leaves home for the first time and now has to make all his or her own decisions. It is a tremendous amount of freedom and responsibility. Every freshman responds differently. Some flourish and others spiral down quickly. I’ve been praying that I will handle the new freedom and responsibility well. 

In the middle of our Passover celebration, I realized God has already shown me how to live in freedom. He is just waiting for me to notice. It is the kind of God He is, a god of great compassion and love, who constantly pursues His people. He desires to be with us because He loves us. That brings an incredible freedom!