DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS

“God has commissioned us as agents of intervention in a hostile and broken world.” – Philip Yancey

The campus of Berkeley is always teeming with energy, but especially so at this time of year. Our Seniors are receiving much-anticipated letters from colleges and universities. Our Lower Division is in the midst of another exciting unit of Biztown, as students once again demonstrated creativity and passion as budding entrepreneurs. Our Middle Division student-athletes are wrapping up winter sports, with all of our teams competing for FWCL championships. Likewise, our Upper Division sports are soon to head into the playoffs. Meanwhile, the spring season has also begun, with many of our competitors bouncing back and forth between commitments.

In other news, the outstanding winter play, “Love of Three Oranges,” just wrapped a couple of weekends ago, propelling the theatre department into Stage 2 rehearsals and musical auditions. Oh, and the Middle Division musical, “Shrek,” is well into preparations for its shows. Countless clubs in all divisions gather on a weekly basis, the math and debate teams are soaring from high marks at recent competitions, and our admissions team continues to welcome quality candidates to campus to shadow for the upcoming school year. Tomorrow we will host many grandparents and special friends at Berkeley, giving thanks for their tremendous impact in the lives of our children.

Spiritual life is also abuzz, with around 40 students gathering each week for Bible Studies and reflection on sacred texts from various religious traditions. The 5th grade Chaplain’s Council is zoned in on a presentation to the rest of Lower Division on what it means to pray with your body. We are also preparing for an Ash Wednesday service before school on McCleary Mound the morning of February 26th at 7:30 a.m., featuring student musicians, prayer leaders, and Scripture readers. We recently observed World Religion Day, honored the witness of Martin Luther King, Jr., and lifted up the Confession of Saint Peter the apostle in various convocations.

All of this, of course, is in addition to the ongoing robust academic expectations of every student in every division.

Yes, there is a lot of energy on campus these days. Plenty of coming and going; students, faculty, staff, and families are pulled in many directions – often balancing a lot of worthy endeavors. It is an exciting time to be a part of the rhythm of life on campus.

In his ministry, Jesus often encountered this tug, being called to various groups and individuals for healing and sustenance. He was often balancing many admirable demands, as people were yearning for an encounter with God.

In one such story, Jesus was on his way to the home of Jairus to tend to his daughter, who was on the verge of death. On his journey, a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for many years tugged at his cloak, desperate for restoration. Despite the pressing need to keep going, Jesus stopped to be present with her; open to this moment of transformation.

Theologian and author Philip Yancey describes these moments as “divine interruptions,” where God calls us to pay attention, slow down for a moment, and notice the needs of others.

May we all, in this energetic and busy season at Berkeley, have the wherewithal to have open hearts to the divine interruptions that come our way.

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Founded in 1960, Berkeley is an independent, Episcopal, college-preparatory day school located in Tampa, FL, for boys and girls in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12. Approximately 1,380 students gather here from the greater Tampa Bay area to form ONE Berkeley.