Posted by: Drew Sutton | September 13, 2008

Are we ready for the revelation

As a new Intern here at NCC EJP I feel I should introduce myself.  My name is Drew Sutton and I grew up in South Louisiana (New Iberia, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge) and before moving to Washington last year I lived in Shreveport, Louisiana for eight years where I attended Centenary College for four years and worked for two different churches for another four.  I am now studying at Wesley Theological Seminary hoping to acquire a Master’s of Divinity at some point in the next couple of years.

I have just begun my second year of seminary a few weeks ago.  Just before school started, I was participating in some of the new student orientation events.  During a dinner a woman stood up to give a few words of advice to the students.  She told a story about a conversation she and a friend had had recently.  Her friend spoke of a time when he was preparing a sermon for Earth Day several months ago and that in his preparation he was reading John 3:16; “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”  And as he reflected on this passage, he started to realize the truth in the statement that God so loved the World; not just humanity, but the entirety of Creation.  He told her that he felt very cheated having never heard this interpretation of scripture while in seminary.  This understanding that God is not only interested in the redemption of the people on Earth but that the new Creation involves all of humanity and all of Creation that has been entrusted to humankind.

The woman concluded her words of advice by following this retelling of a conversation by saying she hoped that the students at the end of their time in seminary would not feel cheated and that they would know everything that they needed to know to go into the world for ministry.
After listening, I realized I disagreed with her to a certain extent.  The story of her friend was a true account of revelation.  God had revealed to her friend a beautiful message at that moment in time.  It may have been that while in school he had not learned specifically that message or it may have been he just was not prepared to hear that message while in seminary.

There are times when we are just not prepared spiritually for a message of revelation such as this.  We are not ready for the responsibility required of us for a message as powerful and life changing as this.  For once the veil over our eyes is removed; God’s expectations of us are high.  As a seminary student who is observing the world through the lenses of scripture, history and God’s revelation, I am realizing the conviction and responsibility of having to share this message of revelation with the rest of the world.
We must remember that there are people who’s hearts are hardened or aren’t prepared for a message of such magnitude.  But just as Moses kept appealing to Pharaoh’s hardened heart for the release of God’s people, we too must keep appealing for God’s Creation to be released from the grips of abuse, slavery, and destruction.

Because of the work of the NCC EJP, churches, and many other organizations, I pray that we continue to share the message of revelation that God so loved all of Creation that he gave his one and only son and that people’s hearts will experience this revelation.

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