Faithfulness Ripens Well

For the Sake of God’s Fame
Sojourner Songs
by Ben Palpant

What broad sky!
What big, blue tent!
Is it not proof text?

Morning majesties
and milky way
testify to God
and explicate
his divine craftsmanship
in a universal lounge.

Look at the sun,
rising like an Olympian
to swing across heaven’s cerulean hue
for the sake of God’s name,
for the sake of God’s fame,
and to gladden every beating heart.

And look at me;
a parable,
a breathing proof text,
rising this morning
to chase the sun,
to gladden hearts,
to serve the world,
to bless the children.

For the sake of God’s name,
for the sake of God’s fame.

I love poetry. Unequivocally, my favorite book of poetry is Sojourner Songs written by Ben Palpant. You may have never heard of him but he is a hero of mine. I have two reasons that I love this book. The first is that every poem declares the majesty of God and orients my affections to Him and Him alone. The second reason I love this book is because I know the author. I spent years teaching alongside him as I watched him live out, in our classical Christian community, what it means to love God and love others.

Community is defined as fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. To enter into a committed community is to be dedicated to this fellowship and to uphold that commitment both in joy and in trial. The book of James reminds us that as we face trials we are to consider it pure joy “…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3-4. It is guaranteed that we will all have trial, conflict, pressure, sin and be sinned against, and definitely be abundantly blessed though it all here at Arma Dei Academy. It is only through our commitment that we see our faith tested through perseverance. Moreover, our steadfast perseverance allows us to mature and grow in our faith. The most beautiful place to do this is in community. Arma Dei is full of God’s faithful people who desire nothing more than to bring God glory using many gifts and talents. Through His equipping, we rise to the call to educate the next generation to live purposefully in service to God and others.

To invest in a committed community requires rightly ordered love. God is so lovingly clear in Matthew 22:36-40. When Jesus is asked which law is the greatest and He responds, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.” This kind of love is both sacrificial and servant oriented. It is rooted in a deep desire to honor the Lord in all things and to think more highly of others.

There is something divinely unique about a classical Christian community. We all come from different backgrounds, we are all different ages, we all have different gifts and talents, we all go to different churches, and yet by God’s grace alone we are all united in educating children in Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. As we seek to prepare the next generation to glorify Christ, shape culture, and illuminate the light of God’s truth in the world, may our faithfulness and dedication to educate them well, bear fruit for many generations to come, “…for the sake of God’s name, for the sake of God’s fame.”