A year in The Fellows Program is a year of learning. Not all of that learning takes place in a classroom (or a church multipurpose room). In fact, most of this learning happens through the experience of living in community, learning how to love one another through difficulties and figuring out what it means to be an adult. However, much of what I will carry with me after the program was learned in our seminary classes at the feet of phenomenal professors.
Most notably, I have learned to understand the world through the lens of this paradigm: Creation, Fall, Redemption and Consummation. In Creation, God created a good world. The Fall tainted all the goodness planted by God, but the good is still there. As Christians, we are called to look around us and seek out beauty, goodness and truth, and to reclaim them for God’s original creational purposes. This is the mentality that can guide Christians through the difficult and complicated issues that we cannot avoid in our culture today. The appropriate response to racial disparities, gay rights, environmental stewardship, gender stereotypes and every other challenging issue can be addressed through this paradigm.
It sounds hard right? It is. Fortunately, there is one who has gone before us to show us the way. Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus has begun his work of Redemption and placed the world back on its right trajectory (toward Consummation). Now, there are lots of interesting things to say about Consummation, but I will limit myself to the following point. The best part of the Consummation is that we can begin to live it out RIGHT NOW! As we live and work and love in this world that God has given us, we participate in preparing the new heavens and the new earth that God always intended.
The biggest thing that I have learned from this year is that my work and life matter. I can participate right now in God’s plan for eternity and so can you!
-Peter Frank (Fellows '15)