He said it as part of a lesson on preaching and the Lord’s Supper. It was probably meant to be a passing comment, but it’s the only thing I remember from that 1 and 1/2 hours we spent together as a class, experiencing what the text had to say about the Lord’s Supper and Christ’s presence in it.
It’s not exact, but the gist of the quote from my preaching professor was ” seminary is one of the best places to hide from Jesus, because you’re so immersed in him”. I thought to myself “oh my goodness, he’s right”. It seriously did hit me like that. I’d never thought about it before, but now it’s all I can think about.
Then I started thinking about the times I have sat in church or in personal Bible study, present in body and action but not in mind because my thoughts are with the church history test/gospel outline project/evangelism paper/ethics book review/sermon/group presentation/exegesis paper/greek test/hebrew test/pastoral care paper… and other “Jesus school” things that need to be done.
You know, I’ve actually excused my presence from corporate worship to catch up on work for any given class, using the facts that: the work is theological in nature and that I’m listening to worship music while I do it to make it ok.
Well, I guess if I wasn’t going to be fully present in church, there was no way I’d be convicted there. So it happened in preaching class (the next best place).
I’ve decided it’s a matter of control. At any given time, there can be any number of factors that are out of my control, that I wish I COULD control, that drive me to cling disproportionately to other things that ARE in my control, but are of limited lasting value: my performance in school/finances/etc.
I proved my own point the other day when I started thinking about what’s going to happen after the summer. I’m graduating in May, and not far beyond that, I have no idea where my life will go. So, in the interest of not having to think about that, I’ve tightened the reigns on my finances, including Compassion Funds for my monthly charities.
I’ve decided that this is ridiculous. So, I’m making a change. I’m going anti-control freak (I KNOW, right? If you know me, that’s kinda big) and giving to my local church again, putting aside more Compassion Funds, spinning and pilates on alternate days each week, and mostly being present in my last year of school and in the process of thinking about what the future holds.
Because, really, hiding from Jesus wasn’t the only thing that stood out to me in class that day. The other more appropriate point to end this post with, is that Jesus is revealed to us in the Lord’s supper. For the two on the road to Emmaus, Jesus was revealed to them in their looking back on their time with Jesus before he disappeared from them (their hearts burning within them…)
So, I’m actively living out my present through grateful reflection on my past and prayerful preparation for the future.
Next week, I’ll have a recap of where my Compassion Funds have gone this year, and what’s next. Have a great week!
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,
If you hold to my teaching, you are really my
disciples. Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32