Sunday, March 10
The Lord’s Day
Minute for Mission: Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary
Our denomination has a clearly articulated commitment to diversity—and that’s important. But my greatest joy comes from seeing words take shape and form. It happens every time I walk into our offices at Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary.
There, in the popular reception area, I encounter a variety of students. Many are African American Presbyterians, but I’m just as likely to see Lutheran seminarians from Korea or Reformed Church members from Kenya or Brazil. Because we are part of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), Baptist, Pentecostal, and an assortment of different Methodist students add to the richness of the community.
These women and men, some recent college graduates and some embarking on second careers, are preparing themselves for lives of leadership and service—in traditional churches, to be sure, but also in new forms of ministry among some of our world’s poorest and most neglected people. There, in our offices, they excitedly discuss their experiences and plans.
We are proud that our reception area is well-known throughout the ITC as one of the most hospitable places on campus and increasingly a destination for visitors from around the world. We welcome the daily opportunity to live out the call to celebrate and link our differences. We believe that our church’s only historically African American seminary continues to be one of the most tangible manifestations of its commitment to diversity.
I love it when an abstraction becomes something you can see and experience. I love it when words become flesh.
—Paul T. Roberts Sr., president/dean, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary
Let us pray
God, whose kingdom is first and foremost a great family with you as the loving parent, teach us to love and cherish our dappled, brindled, freckled, colorful relatives, to honor difference, and to recognize your face in all who serve and in all whom we are called to serve. Amen.
Sunday Lectionary and Hymns
Come, Ye Thankful, People Come
PH 551, HB 525
How Blest Are Those
PH 184, HB 281
2 Cor. 5:16–21
God, You Spin the Whirling Planets
Luke 15:1–3, 11b–32
What Wondrous Love Is This