posted on December 28, 2010 10:44
The following was written by Dr. Dan Day, our Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship.
Adjacent to the highway I travel home each evening there’s a new attraction. In an open field, positioned so drivers will see it at least a quarter of a mile before passing it, there’s now a sixty-foot high, white-painted, steel cross. It even has floodlights so as to be a 24 hour sentinel for all passersby.
It’s not the kind of thing I would have spent my money on, but it does make a statement. It’s like some of the road and street names I also drive by on my way home. There is Christian Light Road, and Perfect Peace Circle, Honey Bee Trail, and Breezy Pines Way. But, for that matter, there’s also Canadian Mist Lane (for the abstainers in the crowd I’ve been told that’s the name of a brand of whiskey)—and down another road home there’s a Karaoke Bar with good-old-boy pickups dotting the dirt parking lot. On my road home there’s also a subdivision called Donnibrook (I’ve always associated Donnibrook with chaotic scenes of mayhem—not exactly my choice for a residential site).
And, lest I forget, there’s also a church which doesn’t even call itself a church (actually, there are at least seven churches on my road home); it’s the New Breed Christian Center and the sign out front invites travelers to “Come enjoy the excitement” (a seeker-friendly variant on the original Galilean invitation to “Come and die,” I suppose).
In other words, heading home is always a reminder of the wacky, wonderful, and wonderfully conflicted world we are passing through. There’s something for everyone—even if that something may be appalling or deemed dangerous by another. Sin and sanctity claim shoulder-to-shoulder frontage on life’s highway. And, unfortunately, I’m not always sure the sanctity people are to be trusted more than the sin people.
But I am sure of one thing. We are all, always headed home. You needn’t be morbid about it, but death is life’s truest fact. And after death, what? And before death, what?
To me, this is where the immense importance of theological education shows its best face. We are engaged in finding honest, true answers (and ways to speak them) to the profoundest questions we all ask. You can find just about anything you want out there. But once you realize—really realize—that you’re headed home, and so are all those other travelers, it’s time to pull off to the side of the road and seek some big-time answers. That’s what Divinity School is all about...and it’s also why every night I’m glad to head home from such a worthy use of my one life.