Saturday, August 15, 2009

1 Day, 2 Events, 1 Reality

One Day: One August afternoon and we are all busy going about our daily lives, thinking our daily thoughts, doing our daily things. But, not all of us. Some of us are caught up in the joy of prayers answered, and some of us are caught still in our tracks by unexpected tragedy. All in one day.

Two Events: For several years there has been a little knot of folks dreaming and praying and working and praying some more to establish a college. A college based on the 7 Liberal Arts as modeled by the Medieval colleges which brought forth the blossoming of arts, culture, innovation and more. A college based on the 7 Liberal Arts seen through the lens of a Biblical worldview. New College Franklin finally came into reality and the first convocation ceremony took place yesterday with the inaugural class of students. There was great joy all around!

But, also yesterday, a young man went home to be in the presence of the Lord following a tragic car accident. He turned 19 years old on the day he went home, and he is undoubtedly celebrating his birthday with great joy in Heaven. However, his parents, family, and friends - indeed the whole community - are experiencing great and profound grief.
One Reality: The Christian life is a life full of paradox and antithesis. The antithesis concerns our life are we walk in the world, but not of it. The paradox of life - it seems - can be much harder to bear, but in the bearing of it is much richness and life. Within the paradox are the old familiar themes: Bought with a price to serve a Master, yet set free; we lose our life in order to find it; we are called to discern, but not to judge our brother; we die to ourselves so we can live for Christ; we give that we may be full; and most of all - like Christ - we die to be born again. He taught us saying, "...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone: but if it dies, it bears much fruit." John 12:24. These little grains of wheat that we are and the little grains of what we do must necessarily fall into the ground and die in ways both small and great in order bear the beautiful fruit God has granted for us and for His glory. It is a hard thing for our minds to comprehend. We must walk circumspectly, throwing ourselves and our pain and doubt on the one sure thing, and that is Christ. Both the joys and the hurts of life find completion in Him who loves us enough to have sent His only son to die in our place for the penalty of our sins. To God be the glory.

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