In January I drove the now all too familiar, long drive up to Luther Seminary. I stayed a week and took two courses. In the morning I had a class on books like Revelation and one on preaching in the afternoon.
The class that featured a study of apocalyptic texts like the Book of Revelation had many powerful moments. We worked in groups to create the outline for a funeral service, which used selections from the Book of Revelation. This was a first for me, and it gave me a lot to think about as I consider my future ministry and how to serve at life passages such as funerals.
After lunch, I would switch gears to attend the class on preaching. It was a dynamic and helpful experience that introduced me to some powerful concepts for sermon preparation, time management, and preaching.
I also had a lot of fun on campus. For instance, I discovered a tunnel between buildings, which was a colorful change of scenery on the dark, snowy days. The tunnel was all bright blues with a water theme.
I was also able to attend an incredible exhibit about the Reformation, which featured one of the most powerful and exciting pieces of art I have ever shared a space with (a list that would include my viewing on Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps, and Caravaggio’s John the Baptist).
The piece of art I’m talking about is a giant wooden storyboard from the 1500s. It is covered in panels, with each panel featuring a scene from the Bible, including text. The side panels are movable and can be slid over the center to reveal more stories. It’s totally unlike anything I have ever seen with careful craftsmanship and rich art. I fell in love with it and lingered in the room, sitting to study it, and even returning for one last time before I left the exhibit.
Overall, my trip in January was a great experience. There were powerful positives and negatives. I was grateful to receive help for my housing thanks to a family my pastor knew. While the drive up was long and hard due to the snow and ice, it was worth it. Unfortunately the trip also featured the accidental destruction of my MacBook due to a student spilling milk on it near the end of our week in class. Accidents happen, and it was a helpful reminder of the temporary nature of things.