The Chair and the Desk, 4/20/16

From the chair:

“So [Saul] went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and spitted against eh Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him. And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.” 

-Acts 9:28-30

“…and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” 

-Acts 11:22b-26

This passage encourages me because the Apostle Paul (still called “Saul” at the time) did not have a straight shot into ministry. For a time (years, we elsewhere are told), he had to go back to his hometown, Tarsus, and wait. Make a living making tents. Prepare. Wait to see if and how God would use him.

This encourages me in seminary (in, I should specify, my 5th of 9 years of seminary), particularly as I wait to focus my full attention on “parish ministry,” pastoring. The season of preparation may feel long. I can’t, and perhaps shouldn’t, really shorten it. All I can do is make sure I am being prepared, that this time is not wasted, so that future days, days I envision, aren’t wasted either.


From the desk:

“Politics is just one way to engage the world and, arguably, not the highest, best, most effective, nor most humane way to do so. This does not mean that Christians shouldn’t “vote their values” or be active in political affairs. It is essential, however, to demythologize politics, to see politics for what it is and what it can and cannot do and not place on it unrealistic expectations.”

-James Davison Hunter, To Change the WorldKindle loc. 3645


“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

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About Alex Kato

Born and raised in Seattle, my wife Annie and I first left town so I could attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. We now live in New Jersey, where I am working on a PhD in homiletics (the study of preaching) at Princeton Theological Seminary. I love to converse, preach, read, write, and teach. Someday I hope to serve Jesus Christ's Church through both preaching and teaching preaching.
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