My Home Away from Home

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It’s that time of year again. Two weeks on campus at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. As much as I will miss my loving wife and lively children over this period, I do love my time here.

As a “Distributed Learning” student (read: my classes are online most of the time), it’s very easy to listen to a recorded lecture, join an online video chat, or simply just do the assignments and move on to the next “thing,” whether that be work, family time, or another commitment.

But what I really miss out on is a sense of community. I find this to be a crucial thing. This is especially true given the nature of what I am pursuing. A typical person would easily look at what I am doing and call it foolish. And maybe it is, in the view of the world. But when I’m here with my cohort, my classmates, and friends, I’m reminded that there is a not only a great network of support, but many other people who are entertaining God’s call to ministry, to justice, and leadership.

These next two weeks will be a blessing. Being in a strong faith community and having the opportunity to explore Christianity through the lens of academia and leadership through the lens of Christianity is, frankly, awesome.

I wish more people could see the folks here. It is such a refreshing view of Christianity as compared to what is seen when some “Christian” is on the news or some “evangelical” is condemning a group of people, or even how Christians are portrayed in TV and movies.

This is a group of very imperfect people. We are no different than any other person. We swear, we get angry, we disagree. We oversleep, get cranky, saw things we regret. We also thoroughly enjoy life, as anyone else does. And a great number of us enjoy our pints down at the local pub (2 for 1 every day).

The only thing that is different is that we have a need, sometimes referred to as a “calling,” to share God’s love with the world. And its not a discriminating love, it’s not a condemning love, it’s not a “holier than thou” love,. It’s not saying “we’re better than you” or “you need to do this checklist, to be ‘saved’ (whatever that means).”

It’s a call to seek justice for those who have been denied it. It’s a call to love those who have been cast aside and shunned. It’s a call to help those who need it–not because they “deserve” it, but because they, too, are humans, children of God, just like we are. It’s a call to do what we can to bring God’s kingdom to our world in our time. It’s a call to love, and to encourage others to do the same.

These next two weeks will be inspiring as well as educational. I can’t wait to get started.