This week’s word is Agape! In Greek, there are several different words for love. Agape represents unconditional love. Agape is not peace, but it is a love that allows peace through compassion, grace, and reconciliation. Agape helps us to understand God’s radical, unconditional love made known to us through Jesus Christ. God offers us love, without exception.
Agape is reflected in John 13:1-17. In this passage, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, even Judas Iscariot, who Jesus knew would betray him. Jesus shows us what Agape looks like: a love that humbles oneself; a love that offers kindness in the face of betrayal; a love that goes beyond. Not only that, but Jesus goes against our understanding of power by washing the feet of those with less power.
Foot washing can be a powerful and personal experience. Those of us on staff know how tired, tanned, and rough your feet can get with all the walking and grime you accumulate at camp. The disciples, with all their traveling, would have had some rough feet too. To let your feet be washed clean by someone else, especially someone you admire or respect, breaks down barriers and roles that separate you from another person. Pastor Steve Gedon was our guest pastor this week, and with a bottle of Nu Finish, he taught us how Christ wipes all our sins away with a love that can never fade or get scratched up.
We share Agape love in many ways at camp. The image of Agape at the top of the page was made with a braid, similar to some of the friendship bracelets we make at camp to celebrate our love and friendship with each other. Friendship bracelets take time and attention to make, as well as thought into the colors and design that the person receiving would like. Even if we only see our camp friends once a year, we can take our friendship bracelets home with us to remember being together.
This week, we had both Classic camp and specialty camps. Our second week of Night Owls was a hoot! We also had our Wranglers camp, which is similar to Hold Your Horses, but for Older Youth at a more advanced level. Our Wranglers had a great time learning to tack their horse, go on trail rides, and play games on horseback. Finally, our Girl Power camp was overflowing with Girl Power! Our small army of girls had a slumber party every night, decorated their meeting room, and had special activities like dance parties, facials, make-up, painting their nails, and eating mug cakes.
Agape calls us to reflect the love freely given to us by God when we serve others. May our campers feel God's presence working in their lives, and pass on the love they have experienced at camp to those around them.
Check out our end-of-week slideshow here!