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“Create in me a clean heart, O God.” —Ps. 51:10

Sunday, April 26

The Lord’s Day

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Minute for Mission

 

I get a bit depressed around this time of year, just weeks away from commencement at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Depressed because I begin to run through the faces of students I’ve gotten to know beyond simple recognition. I start wondering who will graduate soon and move on to wherever God is calling them to serve.

Nostalgia creeps in as I anticipate missing conversations with them in the hallway or over lunch in the cafeteria. Conversations about what they are hearing from God through their classroom discussions, their devotional lives, their engagement within this community.

Yesterday, on my way to lunch, I ran into Eric and cautiously asked, “Are you graduating?” I must admit, his answer elated me: “No, I still have another year.”

Eric is pursuing a master of divinity with a church-planting emphasis. After spending his internship year in a field experience with a church plant in Illinois, he returned to campus last September with a clear and visible call. Truly, you see it stamped all over his face when he greets you with his contagious smile. You hear it in the energy and spirit behind his words. Like the disciples to whom Jesus said, “Follow me,” Eric has heard Christ’s call and put all his energy and focus on Jesus by leaving behind the things that so easily distract and consume him.

When I talk with Eric, my self-centered depression fades. His vibrancy for ministry turns my mind to the positive impact for God he will make in so many lives by following Jesus’ call beyond seminary. The message of encouragement and the good news of life in Christ that Eric will carry beyond our gates after he does graduate is cause for joy.

And my short-lived depression fades away completely when I think of how Eric’s story is multiplied by every one of our graduates. That thought prompts me to remember that I too am called to share the good news of our Savior with the same energy and spirit that has filled Eric and his classmates here. Hallelujah!

Thomas J. Pappalardo, vice president for strategic advancement and marketing, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Let us pray

Lord God, open my heart so that I hear your call for me. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Acts 4:5–12
“At the Name of Jesus”
GTG 264, HB 143, PH 148

Ps. 23
“Shepherd Me, O God”
GTG 473

1 John 3:16–24
“Blest Be the Tie That Binds”
GTG 306, HB 473, PH 438

John 10:11–18
“You Satisfy the Hungry Heart”
GTG 523, PH 521

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 93; 150
First Reading Genesis 18:22-33
Second Reading 1 Peter 5:1-11
Gospel Reading Matthew 7:15-29
Evening Psalms 136; 117

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