There must be some wind there is a rustling in the leaves of a tree. What is the wind that causes the leaves within Goshen College to so rustle that its faculty and administration entertain the possibility that the college might lead in the economic and social revival of the Midwest? I do not know.
The Old Fool hopes that it is a holy wind. Fool that he is, he draws strength from the myth of Genesis 1, and believes, although he does not know, that the Spirit of God hovers over the midwest even as it was said that the Spirit once hovered over the earth when it was formless, empty, and darkness ruled.
As I live in Goshen I see many trees, but few leaves for it is winter time. Only a few brown leaves hang on. I confess to being a Floridian at heart, and I am eager for spring to return to Indiana. I frequently check the seven day weather forecast. For the next six days the high temperature is forcast to be in the 30s. On the seventh day the temperature is forecast to tip up to the forties. I take that to be a sign that spring is coming to Indiana.
Goshen is known as the Maple City for its many maple trees. With the warmth of spring the sugary sap will begin to flow up the trunks of trees and the leaf buds will bulge and burst. And the leaves will rustle as they grow in the sunlight and wind and send nurture down the trunk to the roots.
According to Berry’s metaphor the leaves are the part of the church that engages in scholarly, scientific research and the open exchange of information and testing of ideas. That describes colleges, universities, and seminaries and the gifts they bring to the church. It is especially true in a spring-like atmoshpere if local churches and their pastors think well of, pray for, learn from these institutions that serve them.
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