I’ve been home for almost 36 hours and don’t yet feel fully settled here. That’s often the way of travel and events for me. It leaves me in a place of emotional limbo — not fully present and yet no longer in the overpowering flow of the other. I say that as introduction because my reflecting on URBANA at this point it more process than presentation — I am still putting meta tags on the events at this point. Sometime in the next week or so — when I’ve personally settled back to myself in this space and when we have some data to share — I’ll likely blog a bit of a report. This is not a report.
This morning I’m mostly thinking that InterVarsity continues to be faithful to their calling to move students into a love for God, for His Word, for His people and for His purposes and I’m so very grateful for that. URBANA is a huge undertaking — I’m sure it costs IV a lot in every way to pull of such a venture. But I don’t know of any other event that so clearly and directly casts BIG vision for missions service, provided DIRECT connections to a multitude of options, makes a BIG ASK for commitment and all within a context that of clear, biblical expectation. Living a life of service — of mission — is not an option for the super-Christian, it is the life to which we are all called who follow Christ. The questions are not whether, but when and where and how.
This year’s URBANA theme was based on John 1:14 — the WORD become flesh and moved into the neighborhood. This theme powerfully and appropriately served as central to all main session elements (drama, music, teaching, dance). One of the ways this theme pervaded thinking was around this being the MODEL of biblical mission. That’s one of the pieces I’m expecting to unpack a bit in the days ahead.