As the school year begins, a new rhythm starts; new textbooks to open, new teachers to meet and students to work with, new schedules to follow, new times to set your alarm for, everything is new. Yet at the same time there is a familiarity to it all. The text books may be different but the time you must spend disciplining yourself to read the required chapters is the same. The teachers may be different, but the pressure to perform is the same. The students may be different but, well I think you get the idea. What i’m wondering as I begin my new school year is not about what is the same, or what is new. Actually the ponderings on my late nights are circling around why we even call anything new at all. A “new school year” or a “new calendar year” or whatever; we know from scripture that “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and yet we use the word all the time. 

So in this season “new” i wonder if i might take the time here on Calvin’s very own sounding board to ask this question: How do you feel right now in this time? Perhaps with the exception of the newest students, I imagine there is an “old” feeling lingering amongst the newness. A “here we go again” of sorts. And i would love to take a moment in eager expectation of what God is going to do in and through each of you reading this and say one simple thought, If God has carried you to this moment and you are beginning classes (or at the time of this post nearly 2 weeks through the classes) then the not-so-new things that are happening to you are preparing you for a less-than-new position in the world that is entirely new to you. Revelation 21:5a tells us “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”. And if you are given this opportunity to be made new in spirit now, and in that working out of his making you new in spirit you find yourself studying a new language (praising God for having passed those classes myself), delving deeper into a book of the bible you never thought you would, learning to map out Paul’s journeys or the inner workings of Old Testament narration, you can take heart that it is all old news. It has been done.

And since it’s all been done, and since you are being crafted into something “new” by the Lord, that means that you are going to do exactly as well as He has prepared you to and so there is no reason to stress about the heaviness of the course load, or the fact that it is new and different, but rather rejoice in knowing that He has gone before you, and has prepared these good works for you to do. And you will be new, different, better for it. You will be refined by these challenges and made into something new. Something even better at serving the Lord, like so very many people before you. Which makes you the least new thing to ever be made new, and it is worth celebrating.

Let’s celebrate the oldness, the newness and the sameness of another exciting year here at Calvin Sem. May the God of peace grant you peace as you faithfully carry out your studies to His glory.

-Adam Sculnick

Sinner | Saint | Servant

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