Volume 23, Issue 1, February 2010
The beginning of the academic year (the occasion when this paper was delivered at the United Faculty of Theology) is not only a time to gather but also a time when people and ideas are scattered in various ways for the sake of theological education. Several biblical and early Christian texts deal with the themes of scattering and gathering, particularly in three interlocking contexts: the sowing of seed to produce a harvest that will be gathered in; the dispersal of a multitude and its subsequent restoration to its own land; and the assembly of a group followed by its sending forth to various places with the group’s goals in mind. Scattering comes with high risk, and often grief and sorrow, but bears the potential for joy at the attainment of the harvest or other goals. The Gospel of John is notable for portraying the crucifixion as both a time of scattering and grief (followed by regathering and joy at the resurrection) and a time of gathering and triumph.
Back to Issue