I am pleased to share that I have joined the authors at the Emerging Scholars Network blog. My first devotional essay was posted last Sunday and I believe the next four will come out on a weekly basis.
We’re delighted to start summer with a new Scholar’s Compass series. Scholar’s Compass is our ongoing online devotional for academics. In it, we ask authors to write about how their academic vocations and their lives as followers of Christ fit together in a simple format: A quote from Scripture or a Christian author, a reflection, a question to think about, and a prayer. Since we launched the series in 2014, Scholar’s Compass has been one of our most widely read features. You can browse the whole series here. Today we welcome new ESN author Christian Brady. He’ll share a Scholar’s Compass series on transitions with us as we move into the summer.
And a bit of the first post, Reshaped, Reworked, and Redeemed (Scholar’s Compass Transitions Series Summer 2017)
Jeremiah 18:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 “Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done?” says the LORD. “Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it.” (NRSV)
This passage is the Lord calling Judah to repentance and offering them a way back from their impending punishment and destruction. He has declared through Jeremiah that if they do not return to observing his Law, especially caring for the poorest among them and keeping the Sabbath holy, then he will bring calamity upon them. On the other hand, if they will turn from their evil, he will change his mind. The vessel that the potter began to make one way can be remade in another.
While the importance of repenting of our sin and returning to God’s ways remains paramount in our lives as Christians, I have also found that we often have a need to “repent” of our initial designs for our lives. When we sat down at the potter’s wheel we might have had one object in mind, but as the clay of our lives is worked and shaped we must be open to allowing a new shape to be formed. I have seen this vividly in my own life and that of my students.