by Maggee Becker, University of St. Thomas sophomore
Weekends are often seen as a catch-up time for college students, whether it means spending time with friends, getting extra sleep, or working on homework. However, at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, students in the Saint Paul's Outreach (SPO) community gather on Saturday evenings to participate in a Lord's Day celebration. They put Lord's Day prayer into action.
An excerpt of the prayer: "Today we set aside the concerns of the week that we may honor the Lord and celebrate His resurrection. Today we cease from our work in order to worship God and remember the eternal life to which He has called us."
Stemming from a Jewish tradition, Lord's Days begin with a time of prayer followed by praise, and worship which serves as a way to enter more fully into the Sabbath - a day of rest. Students take a much needed break from the hectic week to reflect on the Lord's hand in their lives and give thanks for their many blessings. Following prayer, they eat a home cooked meal and spend the rest of the evening socializing with friends and building community.
This year, twenty-four students and four Missionaries are split between the three women’s Households and two men’s Households near campus. All five SPO Households, along with one house of women who are heavily involved in SPO, have graciously opened their homes to host Lord’s Day. Some students have offered to help cook, which is a large undertaking, since roughly 30 people attend on average. Others have lead worship, assisted with the setup, or quietly headed into the kitchen after the meal to begin washing dishes. Along with serving at Lord’s Day itself, students participate in the mission pillar of SPO by inviting students from campus to join in the evening celebration. With so many people willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus and working together to serve, the SPO community has been strengthened and the number of people reached continues to grow.
When I began attending Lord’s Days as a freshman last year, I not only encountered a community of students with a zeal for their faith, but I began to recognize the importance of pausing my chaotic college life to thank the Lord. Now as a sophomore and co-leader of Lord’s Days, I have been humbled by the willingness of my friends to serve both me and the community. The SPO community selflessly embodies Luke’s description in the Acts of the Apostles: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). On Saturday evenings, I am filled with both joy and peace knowing that the Lord is working to build the community I was so blessed to encounter as a freshman.