“When Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, he summarized in these gestures his own life. […] When we take bread, bless it, break it, and give it with the words ‘This is the Body of Christ,’ we express our commitment to make our lives conform to the life of Christ. We too want to live as people chosen, blessed, and broken, and thus become food for the world.”
During this season of Lent, as we follow the story of Jesus in the wilderness, we’ve been exploring the call to affirm humanity in ourselves and each other—even in all of our hunger and wounding and brokenness. And we believe that affirming the dignity in humanity is, ultimately, an invitation to service; it’s a call to direct our lives and our work toward worshipping God through the healing and empowerment of individuals and communities, and through the dismantling of systems that seek to deny humanity in some.
That is the arc of pilgrimage: to journey into the wilderness, to be transformed, and to return to service. It’s also at the heart of our mission at The Seattle School. Through transforming relationship and the competent study of text, soul, and culture, we train people to serve God and neighbor in the unique context of their identity and calling.
“That is the arc of pilgrimage: to journey into the wilderness, to be transformed, and to return to service. It’s also at the heart of our mission at The Seattle School.”
These two movements—inward change and outward service—are inseparable. Our own transformation will be stifled if it is not directed toward service, just like our work in the world will burn out or fall flat if it is not grounded in the journey of transformation. So as we move through Lent and into the rest of April, we’ll continue wrestling with the themes of pilgrimage and wilderness, turning the conversation more specifically to service and the call to serve God and neighbor.
We’ll hear from alumni, faculty, staff, and students about their work in the world, and about how their ability to love God is inextricably tied up with their willingness to love others. We also hope to explore the deep need for imagination in how we approach calling and service. Because—no surprises here—the world is changing, and the problems we face today are not the same as they were before; our service should not look the same, either.
May the change and healing that we have found propel us to the change and healing of our world. May we continue to enter places of both deep brokenness and deep beauty. May we never stop innovating, dreaming, and scheming. And may the Spirit be with us as we commit to hard conversations and dare to confront the wicked problems that deface the image of God in humanity.