Blog — 12th October 2020
(This post was written as the introduction to the Autumn edition of the Link magazine)
Welcome to the Autumn 2020 edition of The Link. As I write, I am full of mixed emotions: above all I am thankful for you, our dear readers. I am grateful for the technology enabling us to capture the stories of what God is doing around the world. I delight in the witness, the thinking, the ability to communicate, and I’m grateful to be able to read!
But … there’s true sadness that we can’t deliver it to you in person or put it on your seats during our graduation! We are so SAD not to see one another in the flesh – I expect you are too! And yet…
If this time has taught us anything it’s that the people we meet, the touch of a handshake, the possibility of a hug, all are beyond value. And, we’ve also learned that our connections and the love we share transcend physical presence. More than ever, I am aware of the weaving together of our lives in a beautiful tapestry of witness: the resilience of people of faith, the prayers of God’s folk, and our courage to love our neighbours in real ways.
I’m mindful that we have beloved community members in Lebanon, pouring their lives into others. I’m aware of students and graduates on the West Coast of America, fighting to breathe through smoke.
Of course, as I write, there are enormous crises in different places of the world. I’m mindful that we have beloved community members in Lebanon, pouring their lives into others. I’m aware of students and graduates on the West Coast of America, fighting to breathe through smoke. I know we have students scattered across the creative and amazing continent of Africa, who have grappled with Ebola and have much to teach us, about resilience and pandemics but also of the needs they serve. I know too that we’ve all come face to face with matters of race and have determined to live in faithful anti-racist ways. I am aware that in our sprawling Christian family there have been acute losses. People we love called home to carry on their resurrection story, and I know that grief is searing when we no longer see in the flesh the ones we love.
For many, we’ve wrestled with new economic realities: changed economies, changed national realities, different personal circumstances facing us. In all of this, I hear the descriptions of fortitude, personal courage and Christlikeness that emerge, and I am grateful all over again for the Scriptures that shape us – that call us to our best selves and to hope in the gospel. I’ve been drawn to Romans again and again just now, and leave you with it: Romans 5: 1-4.
‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.’
I hope that you enjoy catching glimpses of God’s activity as you explore this edition of The Link.
Revd Dr Deirdre Brower Latz
Principal, Nazarene Theological College