Over the past four years as a Campbell University Divinity student, I’ll admit that I’ve endured a spiritual overhaul. A graduation and hooding ceremony this Friday evening will mark the synthesis of struggle and victory that has defined this journey en route to a Masters of Divinity.
As I meditate on the significance of this particular event, I realize it won’t just be the celebration of another personal achievement in my life. Certainly, my steps across that stage and that hood around my neck will affirm the work God has done in my life. But I know the journey has just begun. Continual growth and humility will be required of me on the path beyond formal theological education, as I strive to obey God’s calling in my life.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at CUDS, and although I will surely miss Campbell, I am confident that I’ve accrued an array of tools that will equip me to do effective ministry wherever God sends me. I’ve been blessed to work with wonderful people as a graduate assistant in campus ministry at Campbell over the past two years, and I’ve gained invaluable ministry experience and a great deal of practical knowledge that will undoubtedly inform my career in ministry. I would be remiss not to also mention the wealth of meaningful friendships that I have made at Campbell, including students, peers, co-workers, faculty and staff members. I cherish them all and know that I am always just a phone call, email, or visit to campus reconnecting with my family in Buies Creek, North Carolina.
I’ve realized and continue to wrestle with the idea that God is bigger than our human minds could ever perceive. I’m amazed by the story of God’s people, as they have struggled throughout history to serve and follow God faithfully. Despite her history of shortcomings and failures, God has remained faithful in pursuit of his bride, the church. We trust that God remains faithful today, to us, as we continue to co-write our story with God, who is our guide, provider, and sustainer.
Christians are unified in the person of Jesus to be active players in God’s faithful pouring out of grace in the life and community of God’s people. If we know Christ then we know his voice, and so we must respond to his call in our lives to share God’s love with the world. We have been commissioned by the risen Christ to go and make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the transforming waters of Christ’s death and resurrection. All of this we do by the power of Christ in us, as we are constantly broken, mended and molded to be conformed in his likeness.
Our task as Christians is not to save souls or judge the wicked – that is God’s work and God’s alone. Instead, we are called to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk with God in humble obedience. Every day is another chance to die with Christ and be raised with Christ as a new creation. How do we share the good news of salvation? We can serve our neighbors; care for the widows, orphans, and the outcasts of society; feed the hungry; clothe the naked; love our enemies. Each and every day we have the opportunity to offer ourselves as living sacrifices for his kingdom that is already here, and is still yet to come.