george hancockstefanI have not done this in the past 40 years since I graduated from college.  I have not gone for a college reunion (or a high school reunion).  Even when I lived in the neighborhood and worked in Wheaton for 9 years, I stayed away from it.  Reunions were not things that I went to.

So when the advertisement came for my 40th reunion I started to think that I should go. A couple of factors effected this decision.  One of my colleagues and I met this past year on a different continent and we found that neither of us ever attended any of the class reunions.  We convinced one another that we should go.  Then, the day came and about one fourth of our graduating class showed up.  Some showed up for the entire two days event, some showed up for specific events, but most showed up for the closing event on Saturday evening – dinner and program.

Some of us have changed, but most of us have not changed so much that I could not recognize the people with whom I spent my college years.  In fact, the moment I entered the cafeteria, I met one of my colleagues with whom I spent a summer in Israel and one of the five people with whom I traveled for one week across the Sinai Peninsula in a crammed Volkswagen in 1972.  The immediate question was, “Who do you think is coming from the Volkswagen five?” It is interesting that somehow, even though not consistently, we have kept in touch with one another so that we knew that two have become medical doctors, and three of us are working as professors – church history, counseling, and philosophy.  All of us are married, all of us have children. All of us have traveled extensively and one of us has recently experienced a tragedy through the death of his spouse.

Since our graduation in 1974, the school had three different presidents (Wheaton is known to keep its presidents until they retire), the school built many new buildings, while renovating and keeping most of the old buildings, it changed the name of the sports teams from Crusaders to Thunder, it added many PhD programs and new undergraduate degrees, had a number of lawsuits against it, and it is currently in a lawsuit against ObamaCare.  Wheaton College is known these days as one of the best evangelical colleges and by some is dubbed the “Harvard of the Evangelicals”.  As it has become a part of that elite group, the price attached to its education has risen accordingly.

The motto of the college is “For Christ and His Kingdom” and listening to my colleagues share what they are doing in their lives, one can see that is exactly what many are doing.  From those who are teaching faithfully in elementary schools to those who are teaching in colleges and universities, from those who have invented new patents and discovered new medicines, from those who have become rich working on the Wall Street and related firms to those who have lived in the poverty of our urban communities, from those who have settled in the Chicago areas to those who work in dangerous and faraway places – the driving force is from Him who called us to live no longer for ourselves but for Him.

I am glad that I have done it because I was able to see again my colleagues, but more than that, I was able to see how the Kingdom of Christ is expanding in our world.