This week in chapel, Pastor Joy Bonnema taught from John 13:34, which says “a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” As believers in Christ, we are to practice kindness by loving one another. Joy emphasized that to practice kindness “costs nothing, and it gives everything.” When we act out of kindness, it can change the demeanor of the ones we are interacting with as well as ourselves. If you trace hate down to its core, it is very likely that you will find some form of fear, but as Craig Barn says “the only way you can overcome fear is to be loved out of it.”

In order to remember our baptism, Pastor Joy led us in an activity to be cleansed by water. It is both humbling and elevating to reflect on our baptism. It is humbling because we admit that we do not know everything there is to know, and yet it is elevating because we are reminded that Christ Jesus chose us and set us apart.

Listen to the full sermon below.


Dr. Joy Bonnema taught biology at Calvin College for 10 years before becoming a pastor at Madison Square Church in 2008. She is ordained as a commissioned pastor in the Christian Reformed Church and since 2013 has been pastoring a Madison Church: North, which meets on the northeast end of Grand Rapids near where she lives with her husband and daughter. Joy considers herself a recovering perfectionist who continues to discover greater depths of grace and joy through the gospel of Jesus.