Incarnation (by LK Springer (C)2004)
You laid your glory down
Took my flesh
Before the worlds began
Who spoke this very stuff
Small and weak
This thing this
If words were enough
Then why come?
But you came
In my flesh
I stand wordless
Mere flesh and bone
There are moments in the journey when everything changes. The change may be subtle or stark, but you know that after this, nothing will be the same.
2005 has been such a moment. This year completed an important leg in my journey. It began in fall 1999 when I entered the Master of Divinity program at Talbot School of Theology. Six and one-half years later, it is complete. December 16, 2005, I walked across the stage in Chase Gymnasium, was hooded by Dr. Dennis Dirks, dean of Talbot, and received my diploma from Dr. Clyde Cook, president of Biola University. With ninety-eight units of seminary training behind me I entered this liminal moment.
Ceremonies are liminal moments. They are steeped in tradition; everything means something. Professors and students draped in the colors of their disciplines—education in light blue, business in drab, philosophy in dark blue, and theology/divinity in scarlet—march to a tune repeated in commencements across the country. That afternoon the music, the marches, the hooding, the handshake became a wash of sound and sight, proclaiming that one thing was over and something else was about to begin.
Then again, maybe it is a matter of viewing life from a new perspective. Who knows? I do know that even with the changing perspective, the people remain.
Most often despite myself, my life has been rich with people. God has enriched me with friends who willingly give the gifts of time and understanding, even when faced with the prospect of many more years of, “I can’t. I have homework.”
God has enriched me with students who bear with experimentation and tangentizing, and allow God to speak though (or despite) this weak vessel.
God has enriched me with fellow-seminarians who are not afraid to love God with intellect and emotion.
God has enriched me with ministry partners in the band and in the other ministries at TFB who constantly point me to Jesus and remind me that it’s all about God not us.
God has enriched me with daily people. He gives Starbuck baristas who politely take my order when I’m suffering from the morning grouchies. He gives bus operators who remember the regular riders, even when they see hundreds of us every day. He gives servers who remember that I take half-and-half with my iced tea. He gives people at the bus stops who have become friends-in-passing.
So, running through the middle of this odd, liminal moment are people and it is the people who remain. The moment itself is merely a transition from one program to another. Such things are temporal and temporary.
Life is much richer and deeper than school. Too often I forget. I thank God for putting people in my life who help me remember.