Fuller's All-Seminary Chapel has its third Advent service
In the final Advent service, Fuller’s All-Seminary Chapel
celebrated the season with African-inspired music by the Chapel Ensemble, poetry
composed and read by Jeanelle E. Austin, Academic Advisor in the School of
Intercultural Studies and School of Theology, as well as reflections of peace
by students Alexus Rhone and Moses Gabo.
Rhone touched on a difficult time in her past, also around
the holidays, when she didn’t want to hear it was the most wonderful time of
“In the season of merriment, I was not so merry,” said
She mentioned her betrayal by a family member who, as the
executor of her grandmother’s and father’s estate, ended up taking her portion
of the money--money she planned on using to finance her education at Fuller
She had been taught to praise her way through hardships, but
this time said she didn’t feel any relief.
She was also taught to pray her way through trials, but she prayed and
prayed, and at the end, felt no joy or peace.
“God, where are you?” she said.
Rhone decided to attend a “Blue Christmas” service,
specifically for people dealing with loss during the holidays. She said although no one was particularly “joyfully
noisy,” or “fervently praying,” they were present with their hope and confident
God was with them, and gradually, she felt her heaviness lifted.
“I fully embrace that beyond the madness, there is eternal
hope, because God is present and peace will reign,” she said.
Coming from Nigeria, Gabo spoke of the contrast between the
typical worries of people he has met in the Fuller community compared with those of his homeland.
“It’s not about how big someone’s bank account is, or about
having a different car--where I come from, people usually worry about how to live
the next moment.”
Being a Christian, he said he’s experienced attacks on his
own life, and in the midst of such conflict, nothing else matters other than the
present. He said God had to do a lot of
miracles to deliver him from the oppression he was in.
“I would encourage you to pray for peace, and not to relent
in your efforts,” he said.
Gabo said an inner-reliance on God gives peace, and prayers
from believers around the world have a huge effect. After his own pastor and people in his church
were persecuted and killed, he received a letter from an evangelist in New
“It read, ‘The Spirit of God has laid on our hearts you are
going through difficult times, and we want you to know we are praying for you,’”
said Gabo. “He had no idea what I was
going through, but at the end of the day, his letter meant the world to me.”
Gabo also said that oftentimes forgiveness is needed before
one can pray.
“Ultimately, praying and forgiveness lead to peace,” he
said. “And I encourage you to pray for
others, because it could mean the world to somebody else.”
Fuller’s last All-Seminary Chapel of 2012 will celebrate
Christmas on December 5.