Rev. Jul Medenblik, president of Calvin Theological Seminary, gave the class of 2013 words of encouragement and of warning during graduation services held this past spring.
Graduates, he said, were leaving the seminary to serve God’s church in “an age of uncertainty and anxiety.” In the last year alone, examples abound, he said.
“We watched Hurricane Sandy shut down the city that never sleeps—New York City. But it was another hurricane—a school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in the community of Newtown, Conn., that caused many people to pause and reflect on the brokenness of persons and society.
“I could tell you that this was just a unique year, but I do believe we live in an age of uncertainty and anxiety, and you will teach and preach in this age of uncertainty and anxiety. How will you do so?”
Speaking to the 75 graduates in the Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center, he answered that question by turning to the apostle Paul.
At the end of his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul writes to encourage and challenge the church he obviously loves: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
The graduating class represented 10 countries: Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, South Korea, and the United States.