A season of anticipation
It’s official: In a little over a month, Pastor Kate, Valpo’s newest University Pastor, will be joining our community. I am looking forward to her arrival.
At the same time, I’m grateful to Deaconess Kristin (“DK”) for her partnership in ministry over these last two and a half years. Her warm heart and generous spirit, not to mention her accessibility to students and the rest of the Valpo family, have made her a valuable colleague. I have thanked her many times for sticking things out with us.
While worship at the Chapel has been suspended over the break, both DK and I will be around and available through the rest of November and all of December.
As noted above, January will bring the arrival of Pastor Kate. She’ll be looking forward to starting to get to know us before classes begin again near the end of that month, so watch this space for introductions and news as things get going.
In the meantime, students, I’ll be keeping regular drop-in hours on Zoom. I’ll be online over the break every weekday from 4 to 5 in the afternoon, Central time. The only weekdays that I won’t be on are Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Eve. You don’t have to have anything going on to join the conversation. Just stop by and say “Hi.” It will be good to stay connected. I look forward to seeing you.
Faculty and staff, I’ll be keeping up with my email while we’re all working from home, though I pray you’ll take a much-needed and well-deserved break in these days. (Students, I’m happy to read your email as well, if you choose to send some.)
It’s been a really rough semester in so many ways many of us are happy to be nearly through it. Yet, while we all prepare to take a much needed breath, let us eagerly anticipate the days and months ahead.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a story of ten bridesmaids waiting for a wedding celebration to begin. Five are described as wise and five as foolish. This contrast between the way of wisdom and the way of foolishness is a recurring theme in the Bible. The wise women brought oil to keep their lamps burning as they waited through the night. The women described as foolish seemed not to have thought that far ahead and brought only their lamps and the oil they could hold. The wise women are described as watchful. They might also be described as anticipating. To me, the difference between anticipation and mere waiting is that of activity versus passivity. To anticipate is to eagerly expect something, looking forward to it and maybe even, if appropriate, taking action toward readiness. Waiting carries more of a sense of killing time, maybe under the impression that nothing will ever really change.
These are days for both rest and anticipation. The months behind and before us have and will be filled with challenges. There have also and will continue to be blessings. We are not thankful for everything but in everything, may we find reasons for thanks.
Peace and joy,
Nov. 18, 2020
- Archives of Devotional Writings from our Pastoral Staff
- “Some Lent!”
- (Your vocation here) of people
- A Point of Privilege
- A season of anticipation
- Advent = Hope
- All will be well
- Are we willing to cross the road for one another?
- Better Together
- Can we learn to be happy?
- Carrying the COVID Cross
- Come and See
- Did Jesus really suffer?
- Doing without in a life of plenty
- Don’t miss this moment
- Exiles with Vision
- Fear not!
- Feeling at Home
- Finding Purpose in the Journey
- Finding Words for Times Like These
- Forgiving others – and ourselves
- Getting ahead with Jesus
- Getting down on Jesus’ level
- Have yourself a merry little Christmas — somehow
- Holy Week and Taking Out the Trash
- Holy Week: The aid station late in the semester
- Hopes & Dreams vs Life in the Wilderness
- How glad we’ll be if it’s so
- I almost slipped
- In a time of uncertainty, these things are certain
- In praise of plans B … C … D …
- In Praise of Skeptical Disciples
- In the midst of grief, God will bring life
- Is there such a thing as being too forgiving?
- It’s a Three Day Weekend!
- It’s In the Bag
- It’s What’s Happening
- Killing off our future selves
- Lessons in fire building
- Let us work for real wellness in our communities
- Life Is a Highway
- Lilies and leaves and whatever else is beautiful
- Living in the Present
- O Lord, you know I hate buttermilk
- Of Fear and Failure
- On Christian Unity: When we’re not one big happy church
- On the Bucket List
- Pray and Let God Worry
- Preparing for the world to be turned rightside up
- Recovering from an Epic Fail
- Reformation calls for examination
- Remembering among the forgetful
- Seeing beauty in brokenness
- Signs of Love
- Starting Small
- Still in the storm
- Taking a Break from the Relentless
- Talking ourselves into it
- Thankfulness leads to joyfulness
- The Art of Holy Week
- The Funny Business of Forgiveness
- The Greatest of These is Love
- The Magi: Exemplars of Faith and Learning
- The Power of Small Conversations
- The Power of Taking a Sabbath
- The Spiritual Gift of Hindsight
- This can’t be done alone
- To be known
- You will be in our prayers this summer of 2020
- Ventures of which we cannot see the ending
- We had hoped
- What do you do with your anger?
- What is your base reality?
- What to do after you find your voice
- What to do on the day after
- What we know and what we don’t know
- When bad things happen
- When joy and sadness live together
- When the promise of resurrection is hard to believe
- When you offer up your broken cup
- Where God will be found
- Where is the good shepherd carrying you?
- Wilderness Journeys
- Year-end time management: Keeping the main thing the main thing
- Your Valpo roots will help you grow into your future