Friday, May 27, 2016

Table Talk

I have Martin Luther's book, Table Talk which consists of records by Luther's students and boarders in his house taken down almost verbatim during meal times. There are certainly many nuggets of wisdom from Luther while he enjoyed dinner with his fellow believers. I have similar privilege this Semester as I dine with students, three times a day at the College Dining Hall. In the beginning no one dared to join the Pemangku's table but very soon, the students came over and I was having a great time chatting with them over breakfast, lunch and dinner. The girls seem to take the initiative more often than boys but at the end the boys came along and in the past month or so I would have 4 or 5 boys and girls at my table almost every meal. Often times, lunch or dinner goes overtime when they asked me deep theological questions. Usually it is only small talk but I shared my ministry experience and testimonies which I think will be beneficial to them. Yesterday, we talked about the denomination's recommendations for couples to be engaged not more than 6 months and after that they should marry.
It is a rule that I support because often times long engagement has its problems, couples falling into sin and some openly cohabitating before marriage. Obviously when they are caught out, they can't be married in church but amazingly couples find ways to get around that or twist the pastor's arm to allow church wedding despite clear breach of the rules and above all breaking the Word of God on maintaining purity before marriage. This morning only about 10 students came for breakfast at 6.30am after a late closing service last night and we had a wonderful table talk. A few asked me where I would be going next and some expressed sadness that I might no longer be at College when they return from their vacation. I joked that my work pass in Singapore is still valid and I shared briefly about my life in Singapore. Over lunch a male student joined me and we talked about his field ministry for 2 months (3rd year students go for 2 months' placement in a local church before returning to College late July). He also said he wished I could stay on and his reason is that students need role models, teachers whom they can look up to and aspire to become, A student is not above his teacher but when he is fully trained he will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40).

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