“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
(Hebrews 13:8 ESV)
As we enter into a new academic year, may I ask you to reminisce a bit? Think back on the time when you were just beginning your studies at Concordia Seminary. Perhaps it was 20 years ago, or 30, or 40 or only 10. Perhaps you were married. Maybe you just finished a previous career. Regardless of your circumstances, you were excited! You were looking forward to a time of study and learning. As a Christian, you were grateful for the opportunity God gave you to learn more about His Word, His church, the ministry, the sacraments and many more Lutheran teachings. Think about when you attended your first class. You were excited!
That day is here again – not for you, but for those who are following you. They have the same hopes and goals. Their faith is the same as yours: They trust the same Savior and treasure the same Gospel. They are the assurance that when your heavenly Father calls you home, the work to which you have dedicated your life will continue.
This is the reason people love and support Concordia Seminary. They know that what they treasure and what they have given their lives to will continue to be inculcated in the minds and hearts of those who study here. They know that what they were taught, sometimes decades ago, continues to be taught here. And that means that what they value most in all the world, the precious message of the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ, remains at the center of all this Seminary does: God forgives for Jesus’ sake; He saves sinners; He loves all the world. This message will never change and will always be at the center of our Seminary’s proclamation. After all, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Thank you for all that you do in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ – preaching, teaching, visiting, consoling and guiding. You are doing what Jesus sent you to do. You are doing what we are preparing our students to do. And thank you for all that you do to assist us in carrying out our mission. When you help us, you not only enable us to prepare pastors and deaconesses and missionaries for service in the church. You also make a confession of faith. You are saying, “This is the work that means something! This is the teaching and the confession the world needs. This is the work I love to support.”
Thank you again for your service. And thank you for your support of Concordia Seminary. God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.
Dr. Daniel Preus