David Burke’s Non-Retirement Party

Christians don’t retire – or shouldn’t. John Piper paints a great picture of a wasted retirement in his famous sermon illustration about seashells. He says, ‘I tell you what a tragedy is … “Bob and Penny … took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their thirty-foot trawler, playing softball and collecting shells.”’ I can’t see David and Glenda Burke doing that!

When do Christians retire? Some may say at death, or at the return of the Lord Jesus. Is that not entry into our sabbath rest? That may be true, but I hope it’s not retirement. For there will still be creativity and work and activity in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

We are having a party to celebrate the fact that David Burke is not retiring.  I am sure he will travel the world, serving the development of theological education in places that are not served as well as we are. He will continue to accept speaking engagements on church camps if his diary is free. He will be the least present member of his congregation as he preaches elsewhere most Sundays. He will write and blog and comment and listen and care and think. He will even be doing some teaching at Christ College. So please come and celebrate with us.  David is not retiring!

I am pretty sure that if David lives to be 101, and he is bed-ridden in a nursing home, unable to dress himself or to shower himself or to feed himself, he will wake in the morning and pray, “Lord, what work do you have for me to do today? To whom can I witness with my words? How can I bless the people who care for me? Thank you, Lord, that you have saved me from the curse of retirement.”

Please come and join us for David’s non-retirement party. We have much to thank God for in the ministry of David at Christ College over the past 9 years (and more). He is someone who has given his all in the service of his Master. He has taught, pastored, encouraged, critiqued, guided and blessed so many of us. He will be missed. I am sure you will want to be there.

Ian Smith
Principal