BISHOP DR ROBERT SOLOMON addressed the graduating class of Singapore’s oldest seminary, Trinity Theological College, at Paya Lebar Methodist Church on May 12, 2012. The sermon, entitled “ The Cross in Life and Ministry”, was parallel to the theme “Crossroads” which the graduands had chosen for the final phase of their student life at TTC.
The Bishop spoke of the crucified life modelling the Lord Jesus as a necessary part of Christian ministry. He also spoke of our baptismal ritual as a useful reminder of living the crucified life daily in order to narrow the gap between “our liturgy and our lifestyle”.
Furthermore, using the analogy of Lemuel Gulliver (in the tale Gulliver’s Travel) awaking only to find himself being tied down on the beach by a race of tiny people, he warned the graduands of the danger of ignoring perceived insignifi cant habits that eventually add up to become a bondage in our lives.
Bishop Dr Solomon emphasised that “it is the little things that determine how we grow in grace and in maturity … we say a big ‘Yes’ to God and then work out the details of our little yes-es in everyday life”.
Christian ministry is living the crucified life in knowledge, faith and obedience, and while the call to serve God is a great privilege, the Bishop assured that ultimately “God’s work through us is not as significant as God’s work in us”.
The 2012 cohort of graduates benefited from a learning environment enriched by fellow students coming from a large family of Christian denominations and independent churches. There were also students from many countries adding perspective to classroom discussions and community life.
TTC’s more stringent admission requirements in recent years have resulted in smaller cohorts but have increased focus on closer mentoring and supervision of its students. A total of 52 graduates received their basic and postgraduate degrees in a ceremony witnessed by members of the Board of Governors and Faculty of TTC, as well as family and friends of the graduating cohort.
As the newly conferred graduates processed out of the church, they were reminded succinctly in the hymn “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun” that the theological formation they had received from TTC was but another step to the shaping of their lives in the pattern of the crucified and risen Messiah who reigns wherever they are called to serve.