This time of year where I live in West Michigan it’s easy to get complacent about the Christian life. For people who aren’t away on vacation, it’s the doldrums, “the dog days of summer.” Whether we’re on vacation or not, by nature we’re fickle. We have short memories. It’s easy to forget that Easter is the center of human history. It’s God’s cure for the summertime blues, not to mention much more important things.
If you want to know whether a person is wise and understanding, James says look at their lifestyle, whether it’s a lifestyle flowing from humility, because that is the acid test of wisdom. To put it another way, for James the good life is a life of good deeds, and a life of good deeds flows from humility, and that humility is the fundamental mark of wisdom. Without wisdom, there is no humility, and without humility there are no good deeds, and without good deeds there is no good life. Got it?!
I hate to pour cold water on colleges and universities at this time of the year when joyful commencement celebrations are happening all over the world, but . . . . Where are the replacements for this year’s grad’s coming from? Who will fill their shoes? Sadly, this year’s commencement will be the last for some schools. And the implications of this downward trend for seminaries is ominous.
The moment of Jesus’ greatest weakness was in reality the moment of Jesus’ greatest power, as demonstrated on Easter morning. The resurrection turned the taunt table on all the evil powers. Jesus won, and by the grace of God, we share in his glorious victory. Why then would we allow ourselves to be distracted by the ruses of the very spiritual powers Jesus defeated?
In an “Exciting and Important Update” email to alumni/ae on March 29, Cornerstone University President Gerson Moreno-Riaño announced that Grand Rapids Theological Seminary will now be known as Cornerstone Theological Seminary. Promotional hype and nay-saying aside, the new name on the sign will mean next to nothing unless it marks a renewed administrative commitment to promoting the seminary’s historic values, identity, and mission.
Wendy’s story prods all of us—whatever our view of gender roles—to pursue our calling faithfully, just like Jesus did, all the way to the cross. He loved and gave himself for the whole church, not just the half that tends to run the show. At this time of the Christian year our hearts are drawn more that ever to the cross. Jesus didn’t back down from his calling, and, supported by the Word and the Spirit, so will we.