Because us students come from all over the country, we don’t often know anyone from around Hamilton. That’s not too much of a problem for the students, as we get to know each other very quickly at school, but it can make things awful for our wives. For this reason, our wives (and girlfriends) hang out together on a regular basis, in what they call their Joy group. The Joy group does any number of things together, from reading books, to taking the kids out, to trading their husbands’ clothes. It’s true. Last night they got together for an evening of friendly bartering over books, clothes, and anything else. Or at least I think it was friendly. Arenda did say that there were some items that a number of women wanted, but she said that “they worked it out.” I didn’t press the issue. It also happened that one of fourth-year Calvin’s swimsuits ended up on the bartering block. I won’t say who, but someone’s wife snagged that gem for her husband. I also won’t say if it was, or was not, a speedo.
While the other halves haggled, a few of us men got together at freshman William’s place to watch The Hobbit. It came at the end of a very busy two weeks. A flu bug had made its way around the seminary and it took a number of us and our families out for a day or two. It took me out twice in seven days, and I wasn’t the only double-header. Arenda’s parents and her brother Terry came out for a visit last weekend; it was wonderful to see them again. I was privileged to have them in the audience for my chapel last Friday, and they got to meet my professors and some fellow students. A bunch of us got together for Pipes & Steins afterwards, and my father-in-law got to sit in on some of the theological mud-wrestling that goes on there. It was a pleasure to show them a slice of seminary life.
We also had our Symbolics papers due yesterday. Those papers are the big project for the semester, and I cut it very close getting it done. I finished it up last night around 7:00, just before going to William’s, which was only five hours from the deadline. That’s too close. But anyways, it took up most of the week. As I’d mentioned in another post, the paper was on a topic from the Belgic Confession. My topic was the first half of the third sentence of the twenty-eighth article, how believers must “submit themselves to [the church’s] instruction and discipline, [and] bend their necks under the yoke of Jesus Christ.” So it was about the duties that believers owe to the church, a somewhat unpopular topic in these days of relativism and cheap ecumenism.
That puts the bulk of the semester behind us, then. The only remaining project is a sermon outline for Homiletics class. We were each assigned a text, and we have to think about how we’d go about approaching it for a sermon. So we have to write up a few ideas, and then bring them to class where we’ll discuss them. My text is 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, which deals with lawsuits between believers, and the contrast between the practices of believers and the practices of the world.