Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Easter - the Extraordinary Found in the Ordinary image

By Rev. David Brown, Associate Professor, Religion & Ministry Department

It was during my trip to Israel that I realized the absurdity of it all.  I had read about the characters and events in scripture and seen many maps of the nation, in fact, I had even taught students how to draw maps of the Holy Land by folding a paper into four quadrants. But after we landed in Tel Aviv and were on the bus trip to Jerusalem, something I was completely unprepared for happened.  As the bus drove up the incline towards the city of Jerusalem, our guide pointed to a ravine next to the bus stating “Ladies and gentlemen, on the left side of the bus you can see a ravine that is probably like the valley that was between the army of Israel and the army of the Philistines when David fought Goliath.” The first thought that entered my mind was “there isn’t a lot of distance between those two hills, in fact this place is considerably smaller than I imagined that it would be.”  For the rest of the trip I was shocked by how insignificant each place seemed.  The Jordan river was unimpressive, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, the Upper Room, the Temple Mount were all much less ostentatious that I had expected, much more ordinary. But isn’t that one of the surprising things about Easter? God takes the ordinary things and changes history through them.

Jesus seemed to be just an ordinary person. He was so ordinary that people in his hometown rejected him asking “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” He appeared just another hometown boy who had grown up among them, a carpenter whom they had seen working, doing commonplace things in conventional ways. But, contrary to appearances, this was not just an average man but the Son of God who invaded both time and space to not only change the course of history but change the destiny of millions.  A light has broken through the darkness that had ensnared and engulfed humanity, offering them forgiveness for their sins, redemption from their bondage, reconciliation with their Creator and a glorious hope for the future.

Easter poignantly demonstrates how absurd this salvation actually is. Who would expect that the God who created everything from nothing and formed man from the dust of the earth would choose to reconcile the world to himself by sending his only begotten Son into the world as someone who was just as ordinary as everyone else?  That’s absurd because that’s not how it’s supposed to be. It should be that the people who do wrong acts should be the ones who pay the penalty for their own actions, they are the ones who suffer the consequences of their sinfulness, they are the ones who are punished for their wrongdoing. But that’s not the way it is. Easter tells us that the one to whom the debt was due, the one who had been offended, the one whose trust had been broken, came to an inconspicuous place, lived a remarkably ordinary life and accomplished something truly unfathomable, incredible and extraordinary, the redemption of humanity. 

Articles of Interest

Dr. Caleb Friedeman Publishes Major Reference Work

Published: April 1, 2021

Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index to Rabbinic Literature(ASIRL) with Hendrickson Academic. This volume is a comprehensive Scripture index to classical rabbinic literature in English that contains approximately 90,000 entries and represents over 2,500 hours of work by a seven-person team over the course of two and a half years. In addition to the work of the editorial team, a group of OCU staff and students assisted in
Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index to Rabbinic Literature(ASIRL) with Hendrickson Academic. This volume is a comprehensive Scripture index to classical rabbinic literature in English that contains approximately 90,000 entries and
Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index

Archived Articles of Interest

No Other Name

'No Other Name' Author to Speak at OCU

No Other Name

Published: February 13, 2018

Ohio Christian University's Religion Department will host a presentation and discussion on “Divine Healing” on February 28, at 7:00 pm in OCU's Maxwell Library.  Presenter Dr. Edward Williamson is author of  No Other Name, a book that chronicles his late wife Loretta’s battle with cancer.  Dr. Williamson is father of OCU Religion Professor Ben Williamson.  Dr. Williamson is General Superintendent of the Evangelical Methodist Church and chair of the Board of Trustees for OMS International. The Evangelical Methodist Church has churches in Southeast Asia, Europe, Mexico, and Canada, in
Ohio Christian University's Religion Department will host a presentation and discussion on “Divine Healing” on February 28, at 7:00 pm in OCU's Maxwell Library.  Presenter Dr. Edward Williamson is author of  No Other Name, a book that chronicles his late wife Loretta’s battle with cancer.  Dr. Williamson is father of OCU Religion Professor Ben Williamson.  Dr. Williamson is General
Ohio Christian University's Religion Department will host a presentation and discussion on “Divine Healing” on February 28, at 7:00 pm in OCU's Maxwell Library.  Presenter Dr. Edward Williamson is
Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Student Profile: Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling

Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Published: February 7, 2018

If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar since age ten, but not serious about it until this year, Sophia strongly feels God wants her to go to Cambodia and play music for the people. It’s that simple and clear.  Despite initial doubts, she
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other
Serving the Great Commission image

Serving the Great Commission

Serving the Great Commission image

Published: February 7, 2018

  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement Director Natasha Grimmett will be leading three separate teams of OCU students around the world to join in the long-term work that God is doing. The first trip is schedule for March 2-9 to Choluteca, Honduras. A team of nine students will be serving alongside long-term missionaries there to complete a variety work projects and support the children’s ministry. The second team will be serving in
  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement Director Natasha Grimmett will be leading three separate teams of OCU students around the world to join in the long-term work that God is doing. The first trip is schedule for March 2-9 to Choluteca,
  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement
Unexpected Packages image

Unexpected Packages

Unexpected Packages image

Published: December 22, 2017

by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major You know, with the Christmas season coming about, families cutting down trees, and Hallmark producing the most romantic, sappy, love affairs they can think of, it is no surprise that the month of December is full of emotions. For some of us, these emotions are pure joy and bliss. They embody my dog Buddy with his huge eyes and eager smile to see what’s next in store. With a wagging tail, glorious bark, and friendly charisma, no one could be more excited for Christmas. However, for others, the holidays bring about some different emotions. They
by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major You know, with the Christmas season coming about, families cutting down trees, and Hallmark producing the most romantic, sappy, love affairs they can think of, it is no surprise that the month of December is full of emotions. For some of us, these emotions are pure joy and bliss. They embody my dog Buddy with his huge eyes and eager smile to see what’s
by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major You know, with the Christmas season coming about, families cutting down trees, and Hallmark producing the most romantic, sappy, love affairs they can think
 Advent: A Season of Expecting Unexpectedness image

Advent: A Season of Expecting Unexpectedness

 Advent: A Season of Expecting Unexpectedness image

Published: December 22, 2017

by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major “While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby.  She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a box where cattle are fed. She put him there because the guest room was full.” (Luke 2:5-7, ERV). In Luke chapter two, the prophecy of the Messiah described in Micah 5:2-5 is fulfilled.  Here, though Luke is primarily concerned with the oppressed and how Jesus is going to help them, Bethlehem becomes a pivotal location for an unexpected baby lying in a less than expected stable. Anticipating
by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major “While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby.  She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a box where cattle are fed. She put him there because the guest room was full.” (Luke 2:5-7, ERV). In Luke chapter two, the prophecy of the Messiah described in Micah 5:2-5 is fulfilled.  Here,
by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major “While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby.  She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a