The picture on the left is of the stained glass window behind the altar in the chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary. I should put that in past tense, it was the window. On Friday afternoon the chapel, opened in 1881 was almost completely destroyed by fire. The iconic window that has for 129 year defined the mission of VTS has been returned to the dust from which it was originally made.
The call, however, can never be destroyed. Graduates of VTS have, are, and forever will be sent into the world as missionaries charged with one solitary task, to preach the Gospel.
This morning in my lectionary group, it was pointed out that here in his last stop before Jerusalem, Jesus was still in the habit of going. When he called Zacchaeus out of the tree he didn't say, "come here, let me talk to you." He said, "let's go to your house where we can eat and talk." Jesus didn't expect people to come to him. He didn't build four walls and tell people if they wanted to know more they should stop by on Saturday night around sunset. No, he met people where they were. Sinners even. He met them where they were.
Dr. J. gave the example of a member of his congregation who thought they needed a 55" flat panel display in their worship space. J's thought was, why spend more money to decorate a space you aren't going to invite anyone into. I suggested that the money could be used by said member to buy one beer a week for 200 weeks at the local watering hole where he would no doubt have dozens upon dozen of conversations that could spread the gospel far and wide.