Jesus Christ is alive! That’s the message you share with so many, so often, and that means our Lord is actively leading His church into the future.
We see this on Call Day, April 26. Those of us farther along in life rejoice to see the Lord raising up pastors and deaconesses to shepherd His church in generations to come. We’ll be in heaven but through them the Gospel will continue to go forth from generation to generation. Permit me to ask you to make special efforts to welcome the new pastors and deaconesses into your district and circuit. I remember arriving in my first call. I knew I could handle Seminary academics, but being a pastor? That’s different. Could I do it? Other pastors came alongside me and now, 44 years later and in a culture less friendly to the church, you can encourage these precious new workers for our Savior. Thanks for doing that.
One sad note about Call Day: There is a large number of congregations that will not receive pastors. God has blessed our congregations with people who come rain or shine. Others, sadly, have walked away. Between those extremes, in the middle, are people who could wander without a shepherd to keep seeking them with the Good News. That’s why there’s an urgency to encouraging and enrolling more future pastors. Thank you for helping with that as well.
With so many responsibilities upon us for the earthly care of the church, we’re tempted to forget that the Lord who lives is present among us, guiding us into His future. Compare that truth of faith to what Parker Palmer wrote in Let Your Life Speak. “Functional atheism (is) the belief that ultimate responsibility for everything rests with us. This is the unconscious, unexamined conviction that if anything decent is going to happen here, we are the ones who must make it happen — a conviction held even by people who talk a good game about God” (88). After the heavy load of Lent, I pray you will linger at the empty tomb for rest and faith’s confidence for your future!
Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis