I just learned that Krister Stendahl died yesterday.
I arrived at Harvard Divinity School in 1991, just after Bishop Stendhal went out to Waltham to Brandeis. Yet he was still around the Div School often and I was very fortunate to have been there to hear him give talks and lead HDS chapel. He preached on the first chapter of John’s gospel just before semester break my first year there. One of the best five sermons I’ve heard in my life, at least one of the five that had the most impact at time of hearing. It is an awesome, inspiring and holy man that touches your life so powerfully from what seems to be such peripheral contact.
In “Why I Love the Bible,” an essay printed in the Winter 2007 issue of Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Stendahl concluded with this paragraph: “Finally, let me leave you with a word which is the one that, in my own long love relationship to this book, I want to have in my mind when my end comes. It reads, in 2 Corinthians 3:18, like this—‘And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (My emphasis)