defining moments

My time at Theological College has run its course. And although Natalie and I are still unsure exactly what we’ll be doing next, God-willing I’ll be turning my attention from study to practice as Natalie sets herself to do the reverse.

(Presumably, there’ll be significant continuity for both of us. Natalie hopes to move from research into … well, more research as she commences a PhD. And I certainly don’t intend to leave theology behind after College.)

But arriving at this point has got me thinking about the future. Even if we can’t nail down all the details, we can set ourselves some priorities. Here’s one I’d like to share with you — via two anecdotes:

  • I distinctly remember the moment I was convinced of the supremacy of Christ. I can clearly recall the sermon that did it. It was preached by a missionary on furlough. The text was Colossians 1.15-23. It hammered home the fact that because the One who is supreme is both the Creator and the Reconciler, we can actually trust Him. In all the ups and downs of life. Concretely, as the preacher shared his own sense of weakness and inadequacy of himself, I got a glimpse of what it looks like to build a ministry — and, more importantly, a life — on Christ’s supremacy.
  • I also remember the moment I first got a clear sense of God’s holiness and love. Another sermon — this one at a week-long conference — was responsible for this. The preacher was talking us through Numbers. Homing in on the priestly benediction — you know the one: ‘The LORD bless you and keep you…’ (Num 6.24-26) — he asked us to call to mind its concrete context: the inaugural worship service at the tabernacle. To imagine everything spattered with blood. Smelling of burnt flesh (and hair). The tremendous cost of the blessing of God blew me away. (And it’s only a preview of what God achieved in Jesus!)

Oh, to have a life built on the solid rock of Jesus’ supremacy and animated by a white-hot sense of the holy love of God in Him…

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