They’re actually listening; who knew?

Last week in Biblical Interpretation, we were discussing
literary devices (parallelism, similes, metaphors, allegories, etc.), and this
week we spent what seemed to me to be an inordinate amount of time discussing
the basics of a plot.  At one point, I
hid my face with my book and exclaimed, “You guys are KILLING me!”
To which someone deadpanned, “Reverend, that’s hyperbole.”
True enough, and it was good comic relief.  I thought, “Wow.  They actually do listen!”
One reason I love teaching Biblical Interpretation is that
you have to understand what the author wrote to the original audience
(exegesis) before you can apply it (hermeneutics), and so many sermons take a
text and jump right to the application, and the results are less than helpful.
After class, one of the students approached me and said that
he’s realized that he has been approaching his sermons the wrong way, and he’s
rethinking how he approaches Scripture. 
Several students have told me this, actually, which is a tremendous
blessing.  One of the students from last year still sends me sermons to review, and while part of me is frustrated because I already have a stack of assignments to mark that are THIS HIGH, and he has a supervisor whose job is to do this, I really am honored that he trusts me enough to give him honest feedback.

THIS is what I cling to when I’m tired of being the
unrequested substitute tutor in chapel, tired of the dirt/dust, tired of
mosquitoes, tired of going to Kampala to get brown (wheat) bread, tired of
being far from my people, and just tired. 
My students, and the opportunity I have to have a lasting impact on
their ministries, are worth the being tired.
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