Semper Informanda: Prolegomenon
As the parent of college student, a regular inquiry of mine is whether my son is getting his sleep and eating right. College years are not known for healthy eating habits. The concern is not “if” food is being eaten, but “what” is being consumed. Though most college students survive on nutritionally deficient diets, it does have both short and long-term effects.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the same concern for the average seminary student. Of course, you still need to eat right, get your sleep and exercise; however that is not the reason for writing this brief article. My concern, rather, is in regard to spiritual malnourishment. Not having a proper spiritual diet is dangerous and, like physical malnourishment, it can have both immediate and long-term side effects.
Seminary students are uniquely susceptible to this type of malnourishment because they assume that the academic pursuit of Scripture and Theology meets and even exceeds their spiritual needs. Therefore, times of personal and corporate worship are neglected. Because of what is being learned and the amount of time spent in study, it is easy to disregard our need of the local church. It is understandable how one would rationalize that there is no need to hear a sermon when we spent most of the day prior in exegetical study. Even more dangerous is when our studies lead us to believe that there are no local pastors who can preach up to our standards. Therefore, we conclude there is no reason to go when, “I am not getting anything out of the sermon.”
My point is simple. Do not neglect weekly Sunday worship, regardless of the excuse. If you haven’t done so already, find a church home for your time here and commit to worshipping weekly with God’s people in that church. God has given us the church as a gift. It is where He graciously nourishes us. God invites us to worship Him, and as we do He pours out His grace on us. By sitting under the faithful preaching of God’s Word, prayer and sacraments, God graciously provides the spiritual nourishment that we need. When we neglect those means of grace, we deprive ourselves of fundamental spiritual nourishment.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” - Hebrews 10:19–25 - ESV
Dr. Bob Orner
Dean of Students
Guest Lecturer, Practical Theology
Director of Field Education
Orlando Semper Informanda | Volume 7 Issue 8