From the chair:
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
This Sunday, in Church, we heard about the “blessed alliances” that God uses to do his work in the world. I was quite moved as I thought about the allies, the friends, the partners that God has provided for me–now around the world–to participate in what he is doing. There is no tie that can keep us better than partnership in the gospel, and nothing better to be held together for.
From the desk:
“…we need to recognize that the term ‘sacrifice’ has taken on a set of meanings in popular culture as a whole that may or may not be helpful for Christian reflection. Preachers need to make clear, for example, that Jesus’ death is more than an act of heroism. Moving as it is to read stories of those who have risked or given their lives in order to save others from fire or disaster, we are dealing with something more than this when we make Christian sense of Jesus’ death.”
-Sally Brown, Cross Talk, p.113
I first read Dr. Brown’s Cross Talk before driving down to PTS last spring, trying to familiarize myself with my professors. Reading it again this fall, I really appreciate the ways that she tries to keep our attention on the cross, attending to the concerns about “divine child abuse,” etc., while not allowing us to discard Jesus’ death or what the Scriptures say about it. This is a great example of where we need to think about our language: Was Jesus’ death one of many examples of “the ultimate sacrifice”? I believe not. I believe there is something distinct about the one true human offering himself to God and God offering himself to humanity.
“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.