Dr. Evertt W. Huffard
In Memphis, as in so many cities along the Mississippi River, the bridges across the river have historical, cultural, and economic impact, not only locally but also nationally. The Memphis bridges have connected East and West for over a century. Repairs or accidents on one of the bridges create immediate problems and remind us of how much we depend on them. They have been there so long we easily forget the sacrifice and labor of the bridge builders.
Several months ago we all decided to rename our bulletin The Bridge for reasons far beyond, but not unrelated to, our calling Memphis home. This school has served as a bridge in so many ways. For some of us who came here right out of undergraduate school, it was a bridge into ministry and adult life. For those who came here after some years of ministry, it was a bridge to a different level of ministry. For the second-career students, it was a bridge into full-time ministry.
Possibly the most obvious bridge one would expect from a graduate school like HUGSR spans our ignorance and knowledge—of the Word, ourselves, and the world. Feature articles in each issue of The Bridge will reflect on the bridges which must be built between the following: now and eternity, the Word and the human heart, the text and the world, the Old and New Testament, our heritage and present piety, the church and contemporary culture, each other in the church, and Greek to ministry.
Two millennia ago a new order was given that we will continue to live under until the Lord returns again. As Christ has become our bridge, so our living message of Christ is a bridge and our purpose is to build that bridge. We devote ourselves to building the kingdom with God’s help and to His glory. In doing, so we become bridges of God to our neighbors, to another generation, and to people of other nations.
All of this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he committed to us the message of reconciliation.
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19)