By Seminarian Sam Fink
Last week I finished my summer quarter of seminary classes. This summer marked one full year since we moved to Saint Louis and I started a New Testament Greek intensive course. Since then, I’ve learned Hebrew and sign language, I’ve taken theology classes, history classes, and practical pastoring classes. I’ve taught a Bible study series at my Field Education church, and led parts of the service too.
In this summer quarter I took my first preaching course, a course on Exodus and the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), and in August, I went to Israel to learn about archeology, geography, history and ancient culture there, and to see places Jesus walked.
Perhaps not surprisingly, even amid all of this classes and busy tasks, which are undoubtedly oriented toward my goal of earning a Master of Divinity degree and being ordained in the LCMS, I have many times asked myself “what am I doing?”
I haven’t asked that question in some abstract or philosophical way, rather it is a simple interrogative moment in my day, where I’ve lost sight of the actual goal. I’ve lost the forest in spite of the trees, or perhaps more specifically, I’ve lost sight of the promises of God in spite of the tasks before me.
It was within one of those confused moments that I watched Pastor Rossow’s sermon from Easter. I was struck by his emphasis that “the promises of Jesus spoken by the people of Jesus can make all the difference.”
This simple statement adjusted my focus, and cleared a few trees from my view. The promises of Jesus – that’s the forest. Those promises are the things that brought me here, but they are so much bigger than that.
These promises are not just the reason I am at the seminary, they are also the reason my wife Kelsey was willing to come with me. Maybe even more excitingly, they are the reason my Mother is a friend to people, and the reason my Father is an attorney. They are the reason Sean Egmon works as an engineer, and the reason Austin Thomason takes pictures. They are the reason Ruth Menge prays for the unborn, and Joel Iverson plays the drums. They are everything.
And so when I ask myself now “what am I doing,” I pray that Holy Spirit will use me on his mission. I listen too, for the Word of God to be spoken by the people around me. And I look to see Jesus in them, as they too are on his mission.
When I ask myself “what am I doing,” I pray for reminders that “the promises of Jesus spoken by the people of Jesus can make all the difference.” Right. That’s what I’m doing, and that’s what we’re doing.
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