1) My biggest hope for the year is for my relationship with God. The seminary has been very clear that this is also a hope for them as well. President Hollinger spoke at Convocation about this very topic. It is his wish that Seminary would be a place for personal growth in relationship with God. I agree. If my relationship with God has not grown or matured within my year here, it will have been a failure. This is my deepest hope for the year, that I would come to love God more and more. I do not want to dry up on the vine, but instead spend my time lingering with God. This is my quote for the year: Don’t dry up on the vine but instead linger with God.
2) My second hope continues this theme of relationship. God is first, but my wife is second. I cannot get these mixed up, or use one as an excuse to neglect the other. My hope for the year would be that Kim and I would embody Ephesians 5 in our marriage. I hope we will be able to look back on this year and both exclaim that it was the greatest year of our marriage. The key is is found in service. We are learning to serve one another without selfish motives (a lifelong pursuit of every healthy marriage). We have too often seen glimpses of our depravity and selfish desires override our desire to serve the other person and my hope is that this would be focused on this year. If you are married, make this a goal of yours. The servant husbands and wives have been the greatest examples to us of a healthy marriage.
3) My last great hope for the year is practical. I’m here to learn how to preach well and with authenticity. The glimpse of the goals of my courses during this first week have aligned with this hope. God is calling me to be a pastor and He has given me a deep conviction (in a long line of great preachers) that the sermon is paramount in the worship service. I do not claim to be a “good” preacher. But I do claim God’s guidance in my life to preach. Therefore I deeply desire to fulfill this calling to the Glory of God. This year in the Th.M. in Homiletics serves this end. It is my great hope that my preaching might prove to be a fostered gift for the church, that I might be able to proclaim well the truth of the Gospel. This is my hope.
Lord I praise you for what you have done for me in Jesus Christ. Thank you for the real relationship you have given me and for the overwhelming power of grace. I praise you for a loving wife and the gift she is to me. Make me a servant husband. I praise you for the gift of this year to study homiletics, it is a blessing. Amen.