On January 6-9, the Emmanuel College student body brought in 2011 with New Beginnings weekend. This annual four-day set of services consists of worship, learning and fellowship to encourage students as they begin the year with a fresh start.
This year’s speaker, the Rev. Lee Grady, introduced a series of messages themed Who Tattooed U? Rev. Grady, editor of IPHC Experience and former editor and current contributing editor to Charisma magazine, is a highly respected author and speaker with an unconventional outlook on Christianity.
Each day after the worship teams, led by students Andrew Kingrea, A. J. Castro and Jessica Wooten, finished playing, Rev. Grady introduced a new addition to his message. Day one’s sermon, entitled “What Will You Do With Jesus’ Tattoo?” focused on Revelation 19:11-16, in which Jesus is revealed by the name written on his robe and thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
“I really appreciated what my dad shared on Friday night. The American church has gotten way off track in a lot of ways. We get so wrapped up in what we want, we forget that the life of a disciple is one of great sacrifice and even suffering.”
- Margaret Grady Turner, Assistant Campus Pastor
Rev. Grady assured the students that he did not think this was a literal tattoo, but rather a powerful analogy. During this service, Rev. Grady posed the question, “How will you face and respond to the fact that Jesus is the ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’?”
During the second day, Rev. Grady’s sermon “Branded 4 God” featured Galatians 6:17 and 2 Corinthians 11:24-28, in which Paul speaks of his own “brand.”
Rev. Grady told many memorable stories of true warriors of Christ he knew from his mission trips—men who were tortured and branded for their faith, much like the apostle Paul.
As the service concluded, Rev. Grady encouraged students to write down their fears and lay them at the altar. He closed by reminding the congregation that real Christian faith is forged in hardship.
Rev. Grady’s message “The Mark of the Beast” began when five brave Emmanuel College students kicked off day three by telling the crowd about the fears they had released the previous night. Rev. Grady then read from Revelation 13:11, 16-18 and Rev. 14:9-10, which speak of those marked by Satan.
As humans, we are all born with a sin nature, but Rev. Grady encouraged the audience that they do not have to be bound by past sins. This service was a reminder of how important it is to bring the mark of the beast into the presence of the Lord for the healing process to begin.
The final night of New Beginnings weekend was entitled “Written With Holy Ink.” Rev. Grady read of the Spirit being written on our hearts in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 and Jeremiah 31:33. Rev. Grady elaborated on the ways in which the Holy Spirit empowers and teaches us once in our hearts. As a final word of inspiration, Rev. Grady quoted Ephesians 4:30-- Once we receive the Spirit, we are sealed by the Spirit.