An open suitcase brings this question --
“What do I need to bring for this trip?”
I just returned from my 7th trip to South Korea. While there I visited seven different seminaries in addition to a number of churches. Calvin Seminary is annually blessed with having over fifty students from Korea be a part of the student body.
Before embarking on a trip like this, I need to pack. I will pack clothes and will bring “gifts” to give in various places. In fact, I usually take two suitcases where one of the suitcases is designated for gifts given and gifts received.
The question of “What do I need to pack for this trip?” is answered in large part by “Where am I going?”
I will check out the weather forecast to help determine what types of clothes I need to bring; but ultimately it is who I am visiting that helps determine most of my preparation.
Preparation is not just a matter of clothes or gifts, it is also an attitude and a “turning-toward” the other.
In the Gospel of Luke, one key moment in the journey of Jesus to the cross is recorded this way:
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
(Luke 9:51 – English Standard Version.)
Many people have identified our age as an age of experience. We move from one “high” to seeking an even “higher high.” We live in an age where we desire instant gratification and we are increasingly impatient with people who differ from us.
As a seminary, we are preparing for the end of the academic year. We are also helping people prepare for coming to seminary by responding to their applications for admission and their requests for scholarships and other types of financial support.
Our vision may be focused to just this year, but our activities always take place with this wider question – “What does it mean to be a people and be an institution that prepares people to meet Jesus?”
We are disciples of Jesus who are preparing leaders who will develop communities of disciples for Jesus. That takes preparation!