“Greek heroes do not grin: but gargoyles do — because they are Christian,” thus wrote G.K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy, 1908…

Saturday we spent part of the afternoon celebrating the birthday of one of our seminarians. As a surprise to him, his parents made the drive from Louisiana. In greeting, we called out, ‘Welcome home,’ as they arrived. These words we say to our guests and fellow students whether they are new to Nashotah House or returning for study or retreat. Welcome is a kindly expression, a greeting, it is the word of politeness that your arrival is pleasing. It is an ancient word that each language has its own version. We know from a very young age what it means to feel welcome and to be welcomed home.

 

Nashotah House is our ‘home’ for a season. This week we welcome our fellow students from Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, New York and New England. While their homes are far and near, they have arrived for a season and will return. They have arrived in order to go forth.

“One place understood helps us understand all places better”  ― Eudora Welty

“One place understood helps us understand all places better”
― Eudora Welty

 

From welcome to going forth, this is the path we take. A path that has been repeated for centuries. From the poets, a young student in Ancient Greece would have learned to express with enthusiasm his indignation at meanness, feebleness, wrong, tyranny. He would learn the language suitable to every human emotion and impulse of the human heart.

 

He would learn idiom, poetic beauty, and develop an ear for rhythm and music.

 

He would learn the blessings of virtue and the curses of vice.

 

He would have a well-furnished memory.

 

He would learn character, the ideals of his country, and feel sympathy deeply.

 

All this before he memorized his alphabet.

 

But for them there was no welcome and for them life was often led from one battle to another.

 

For the Christian, life is different. For the Christian, life is delight. But the life is not simple since we face the reality in Christ that God is holy and He is just and we are not. Perfect life, perfect obedience, that was the life sought after by a virtuous Greek. That is why the world turned upside down when Jesus in perfection and in perfect obedience arrived in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God. And as we are reminded daily, it was costly. By grace, through faith, we are forgiven and restored (Jn 4:10; Acts 15:11; Eph 2:8).

 

As we anticipate the great Hosannas, let us remember to go forth. In the meantime, we will welcome people home.

 

That it may please thee to send forth laborers into thy

harvest, and to draw all mankind into thy kingdom,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord. —

from The Great Litany, the Book of Common Prayer

 

 

Floreat Nashotah.

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Terhune ’15

nashotahhouse

About nashotahhouse

Located in Nashotah, Wisconsin, Nashotah House Theological Seminary is the oldest institute of higher education in the state of Wisconsin. Founded in 1842 by a Missionary Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Nashotah House belongs to the Anglican tradition of worship, theology and spirituality. That is, Nashotah House traces her roots to the Church of England and locates herself within the worldwide Anglican Communion. Comprehending the fundamental disciplines of Holy Scripture, Theology, Church History, Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry, the curriculum at Nashotah House not only roots our students in the ancient wisdom of the Church, it prepares and empowers them to communicate the Gospel to the world today.