If one thing has impacted me this fall at seminary... I would have to pick two things actually.
One - I came to Systematic Theology class, late (unusually), and, also unusually, found a guest lecturer there making his introduction. He was soft spoken and understated, but as he taught about 'the Perfection of God' I thought, 'this guy knows his stuff.' I was spellbound. He began - 'We are utterly reliant on God's initiative. We don't know of what we speak - when we speak of perfection. God is not in a genus. He is not part of the metaphysical furniture of this universe.' As he went on to talk about our glorious, Trinitiarian, redeeming God, the box I had God in exploded, and as I reflected over the next week, it was as if the truth of who God is had been unleashed in my mind. Language comes so far short of describing the Lord we worship.
Two - in Scottish church history - a class I nearly dropped (last year I was thinking - why take Scottish church history? - Bob convinced me I would enjoy it - over the summer we have felt our call to Scotland grow - suddenly I'm very interested in the history of the church here!) - so - in this class, the history is great. But - even better is the relentless focus our professor has on Christ, and his urgent pleas with us to make him central in our ministry and especially our preaching. I have felt corrected on that in the past, but now more than ever, I am impressed that all we can do when we minister is offer our gracious and glorious savior Jesus, the only hope for sinners, and the only hope for saints too. Everything, everything flows from him. As I was reading today - he is the cornerstone - the perfect foundation stone which sets all the rest true.
If only I could live and pray in light of this immeasurably great God. If only I could reflect a fraction of the grace and goodness of our savior. I am so thankful and amazed that he loves and takes me where I am, not waiting for me to get where I should be.
Since the summer, we have been praying especially for God's leading on next steps. He gave us such a burden for the mission of the church in Scotland, and the need to raise up leaders. We love what God is doing here, but the need is great. Possibly 3% of Scots are Christians, and hundreds of churches have no pastor at all, with so many others struggling. We see ourselves currently being in a season of village mission and higher education where we trust God is graciously shaping us and preparing the next steps. My course finishes in 2018. Thank you for praying, giving, and encouraging us on this stretching, exciting journey. Please pray in our service here we will point clearly to the great God and redeemer who Scotland so desperately needs, and that he will show up in his kingdom power.