When I was in seminary we had a class during the final semester of our course work called “Final Things.” In it we tried to synthesize everything that we had learned during our seminary experience and drill down to the core issues that would carry and sustain us through (hopefully) years of ministry. It was a chance to also ask a lot of questions. After 19 years of ordained ministry there are a few questions I wish I had known to ask at the time. Those in positions of leadership, while they cannot anticipate all that their “students” might need to know, ought to have a good sense of what is most important. Pastors, teachers, business leaders, counselors, and parents have a responsibility to make sure that they have done all they can to help those under their care to consider these “final things” before they are launched out into the world.
Jesus modeled this for us very clearly in John 13. The gospel story describes the washing of the disciples’ feet and the sharing of a clear message. Jesus modeled what he wanted them to learn and then told them – “Love one another as I have loved you. This is how people will know you are my disciples…if you have love for one another.” Drilling down through all the laws, rules, and regulations of life, Jesus arrived at the core – “love one another.” But he called this a “new commandment.” Why? What was new about this love? The example of humble, selfless, sacrificial love was what was new. Jesus’ example of humble service was the one final lesson that he taught his followers…and then he went and laid down his life for us all.
As we come to Confirmation Sunday, to the end of the year for college students, and to the end of the term for many students, what are the Final Things that we might teach and model for those under our care? May God guide us all in living with honesty and integrity as we do our part in helping prepare our “students” for the life ahead of them.
To God be the Glory!
P.S. This coming
Sunday, May 12
, is a special day.
PLEASE BE PRESENT
. There is a Congregational Meeting at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary to hear a report from the Pastor Nominating Committee and to vote on their recommendation. Afterwards there will be one worship service at 11:00 a.m. where we will celebrate with our Confirmation Class as they make their public profession of faith. Hope to see you there!