Okay, so it took 9 weeks, but I had my first seminary “meltdown” today – a moment when I wanted to scream “What is the purpose if …” It had to do with my New Testament class. And, perhaps I’m a bit delusional, but I think that because I’m preparing to be a Christian priest, the New Testament is kind of important (sorry, sarcasm is part of the meltdown). So how is it, then, that we’ve spent 9 weeks in New Testament and have barely even opened the scripture? Don’t get me wrong, the stuff we have discussed, mostly 1st century culture and how the historical-critical method has created many more questions than it has answered, is very interesting. But I’m not sure how it is giving me the tools to serve God in the way he is calling me to serve. Maybe that’s the point, maybe I’m to figure that out on my own … but right now, I just want someone to go through the Gospel texts with me, allowing time for it to sink in, coaching me through an understanding of it. I mean, it’s the message of the Gospel that is important – how the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God redeems the brokenness of humans, right? And this message has endured for over 2000 years, right? How could it do so if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit being involved somehow and isn’t that greater than any human endeavor? Where is faith? Why do we have to separate Jesus the human from Jesus the Divine? How can we do that and also claim that he is wholly human and wholly divine at the same time?
I know that I’m going to have to respond to those who seek and ask “why should I believe,” and I want to be able to give intelligent, God-filled answers to their questions. As for now, I don’t have the scholarly answer but I can tell you that in the personal tragedies that I’ve experienced in these past two years, I have felt the presence of God more real than I ever imagined possible. Through prayer and meditation I’ve heard his voice. In my cries, I’ve felt his Spirit enfold me in comfort and warmth. What I don’t know is the intellectual explanation for this … and perhaps there isn’t one. Perhaps it is something that needs to be experienced and not explained. Maybe. I don’t know. But I want to know.
God, help me to know so that I can be what you need me to be in all encounters and situations. Amen.