Dr. James Earl Massey reminded students of Samford University's Beeson Divinity School they can never succeed without the help of the Lord, and that with the help of the Lord, they will succeed--even in the study of Greek and Hebrew.
"You will be stupefied sometimes," said Dr. Massey. "Your brains will be taxed sometimes. But you can make it! I learned long ago that those who trust God do not whine; they worship. They do not panic; they pray."
Massey, dean emeritus and distinguished professor-at-large of the Anderson University School of Theology, spoke Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the beginning of the 25th year of the divinity school. The convocation service in Hodges Chapel opened with the singing of the official divinity school hymn, "For All the Saints," which has been sung at every convocation since 1988. The service, which included Holy Communion, was both celebratory and reverent.
Samford president Andrew Westmoreland greeted the faculty and new and returning students and recognized Dr. Timothy George for his contributions to the divinity school as its founding dean.
Dean George introduced Massey, noting that he had been a valuable friend of the divinity school since its inception. Massey is author of The Burdensome Joy of Preaching.
Massey preached on 1 Samuel 7:5-12, in which the prophet Samuel set up a memorial stone to commemorate God's deliverance of Israel from the Philistines. Massey drew a parallel between the situation of the Israelites, who were helpless in the face of their enemies, and the students who filled the chapel: "There are situations that arise when no human being can help us in the way we need it, and it takes a God. Israel discovered this. Now as we prepare to mark the 25th anniversary of Beeson Divinity School, we are going to be celebrating the steadiness and timeliness of the help the Lord has granted."
Betsy Childs is web and publications editor for Beeson Divinity School.