Commencement 2023—Pray for More

Date Published

June 9, 2023

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Published by Jul Medenblik


Since 1876, for 147 years, God has used Calvin Seminary to form leaders for His church.

On Saturday, May 20th we celebrated 46 graduates from 13 different nations – Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, South Korea and the United States.  Part of that diversity were sixteen graduates who were part of the Lantio/a Ministry Program.

The following are excerpts from President Jul Medenblik’s Commencement address to 2023 graduates of Calvin Theological Seminary.

Pray for More

During the course of your time at seminary, we became used to the term “supply shortage.”

We remember shortages of paper, peanut butter, and baby formula, but I want you think about the supply shortages that have infected our lives, our minds, and our hearts:

  • We have a supply shortage of patience, resulting in quicker tempers and expressions of anger.
  • We have a supply shortage of hope, leading to a culture of cynicism.
  • We have a supply shortage of empathy, so it is easier to “other” people, especially those who disagree with us.
  • We have a supply shortage of joy, so it is easier to be and stayed discouraged.
  • And finally, we have a supply shortage of love, so it is easier to hate our neighbors, or at least judge them or gossip about them.

In the face of these supply shortages in your life and ministry, you will need to be intentional and focused to be people of hope, joy, and love.

If supply shortages are about less, I want you to be ready for more. You will need more.

The key to understanding this one word and how it can be foundational for your ministry is found in a prayer. It is the prayer of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:13–21:

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!”

Paul is a prisoner for Jesus Christ, and he is heading towards a trial in the imperial city of Rome.  He begins by hoping that his hearers know that they have more family than they ever thought. We have more brothers and sisters when we understand that we all have a heavenly Father.

Paul also notes that we have more strength because there is power from the riches of the Holy Spirit. We need to open our hearts to the work of that Holy Spirit in our lives. Paul continues to pray that we would know more about the love of God in Christ Jesus, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. And from that love, you and I will have more hope and joy because whatever we face, we have a God who wants to provide us with more.

This “more” is ultimately not about us. It is about how God may use us to bring glory in the church and to Christ Jesus throughout all generations. That type of impact is because we have a God who can do and will do more than we can think or imagine.

Be ready for more. Ask for more. Imagine more. Pray for more of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in your life and in your ministry.

We celebrate that you have reached this milestone of education. And we also look forward to what more God will do through you.


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