Dear APU Community,
Aligning our Christ-centered university community toward God’s purposes sets the right tone as we seek to reflect Him in all we do. Choosing a University Passage each year provides shared focus and unity as we begin to dream and cast vision for the next academic year. Two years ago, we selected Philippians 2:1–18 as our guiding text for our cornerstone of Service. This year, we listened to Matthew 5:1–16 steer us toward our cornerstone of Community. Next year, we intentionally focus on our cornerstone of Christ who is our Chief Cornerstone and the One that centers us in all of our endeavors.
Influenced by the comments and participation of hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees, two passages captured the committee’s attention over and over again: John 1:1–18 and Colossians 1:15–23. In the end, we decided that our focus on Christ would be shaped by both a Gospel passage and a Pauline epistle. In the fall, we will examine what John conveys about Christ, and in the spring, we will turn to what Paul tells us. I have included the text of each passage below for your reading.
This summer, I ask that you spend time with these important verses, thinking deeply about the words and their influence on you and our community. As we have the last several years, I think it would be particularly helpful to look at these passages in light of our values-based questions: “Who am I?,” “What is my purpose?,” and “What difference will it make?”
I am excited to see how God uses these passages and our response to them to prepare our community for the year ahead. Thank you for your engagement in this process and your willingness to share your reflections.
Jon R. Wallace
University Passages 2010–11
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15(John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) 16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.