By Cynthia Moberly, Staff Writer
Unlike the previous year, Holiness Emphasis Week 2015 allowed students to focus solely on one speaker, Dr. David Smith. Smith is the VP for Academic Affairs as well as a professor of Biblical Studies at Kingswood University. The focus also shifted as Smith used the Gospel of Mark to paint a clearer picture of holiness through not just rules and prohibitions, but through the lens of the life and death of Jesus.
Upon reflection of the week, Associate Dean of Campus Ministries and Campus Chaplain Greg Haseloff said that he was thankful for the deeply scripture-rooted message Smith gave throughout the week. “We’ve really been thankful for how he’s dug into the book of Mark and how he has shown what comes out of the gospel that points us towards holiness,” Haseloff said.
Sophomore Victoria McClary thought that the simplicity of one speaker and one gospel added to the clarity of the message. “It was good to hear from just one person and not spread it out over different peoples perspectives,” she said. “It was nice to focus on one book, seeing Jesus’ example of a holy life. We always see ‘Holiness unto the Lord’ written in the chapel without really thinking about what it means.”
Smith helped students to see the whole picture of the book of Mark and what kinds of ministry Jesus did, then showed what a surrendered life Jesus lived in the latter part of Mark that took him to the cross. “He has met our expectations in describing what it means to live a surrendered life,” Haseloff said. “Jesus has always been our model of holiness, and I think the stories he used from the gospels helped us understand that more clearly.”
In Friday’s chapel, Smith illustrated the root of holiness. He showed us that God has not only forgiven humanity’s sins, but he calls his followers to live in that redemption, as believers are re-created by God with a new purpose. “He wants to remove those things from your life prohibiting you from being all you can be in Christ,” Smith said. “He wants to do in your life exceedingly abundantly more than you ask.”
Not only has this week allowed students to step back and examine the way holiness is approached as a campus, but at an individual level it has allowed students to explore what it means to come to God uncovered and unashamed.