From the President: The Challenge and Opportunity of Hospitality
Published by Jul Medenblik
I still remember moving from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Fulton, Illinois, when I was in the first grade. A new home also meant a new school. I started a few weeks after everyone else had their first day at school. They knew each other. They had their assigned seats and even some pattern of playing together. Even though I was in the same room, I was “on the outside looking in.”
This issue of the Forum takes up the always vital theme of “Hospitality.” From the first pages of Scripture where we read that God created a place for us, we are confronted with the opportunity and the challenge of being hospitable people.
All of us have had some moment when we were “on the outside looking in.” All of us have had moments when we wondered if we were welcome or would ever be fully enfolded into a community.
As a church planter, I saw the look again and again from new people coming to New Life Church that masked their questions.
“Is there anyone like me here?” “If I tell these people some of my story, will I be accepted or shunned?” “Do I have to have a certain last name, ethnicity or background to fit in?”
From articles exploring the Old Testament (Professor Sarah Schreiber) and the New Testament (Professor Mariano Avila), we learn that the theme of “hospitality” has a consistent place in God’s design for developing and shaping a people that are “imagebearers” for Him. Also in this issue, Academic Dean and Professor Ronald Feenstra will highlight some of what we are doing to shape hospitable “learning” classrooms and environments.
We hope that lessons learned at Calvin Seminary can also be helpful lessons and encouragement for all followers of Christ and members of the body of Christ – the Church. No matter the classroom or the church, hospitality is the lesson where we are called to be life-long learners.
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