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The lion's share of this past year, and the most gratifying aspect of it, has been prolonged teaching and writing on scripture. In the fall I taught full classes on the Third Gospel, Genesis, and Old Testament. Luke's portrait of the life of Jesus, the remarkable narratives of Genesis, the big and challenging story of Israel --each class engaging students in different but equally stimulating ways. Our theology department tries to expose students to "the whole counsel of God," as Paul puts it, and the richness and breadth of God's story is a helpful antidote for our "me-first" age that reduces things, Christianity included, to single-issue, self-help "designer faith."
This past spring I continued teaching the adult Sunday school class at Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church, again on the Gospel of Luke, but on the passion narrative specifically. The congregation has been in a long search process for a pastor, and weekly engagement with the assuring message of the Third Gospel was a steady rudder amid the uncertainties of a pastoral search. Throughout the past year I have worked as many hours daily as I can manage on my Luke commentary for the Pillar series (Eerdmans). I completed writing on the final verses of Luke 24:50-53 --the ascension --on Ascension Day, May 9. It's one of many "divine coincidences" that have sustained me throughout this good and arduous task. My four years of writing on Luke have been a burden of grace --much work of course, but greater are the encouragement, grounding and hope that always, and perhaps only, come from the study of scripture.
On the home and family front, Janie continues enjoying teaching dance, gardening, and art --oils this past spring; our son, Mark, graduated May 19 from Princeton Seminary with his Ph.D. in theology; our daughter, Corrie, continues as mother, wife and director of children's ministries at Nassau Presbyterian Church, in Princeton. In April I lectured in North Dakota, and five former students, all now in ministry, and two professors showed up to surprise me. We spent two days reminiscing about our years at Jamestown College. They told many stories and quoted many things I supposedly said, most of which I don't remember. I have my own grateful memories of teaching and ministry in those years, but the composite picture that emerged from the students' memories was slightly different from and much bigger than mine --a wonderful reminder that as we busily weave the fabric of our ministries and professions, God is weaving within and beyond our work a more wonderful and enduring fabric.
James R. Edwards
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