June is moving month at the Seminary. With U-haul trucks and over-stuffed cars driving away from our campus, transporting vicars to congregations across the country and candidates to their first calls, so also the U-hauls and the over-stuffed cars come rolling onto campus, bringing summer language students to campus to begin their program here with intensive Greek.
My own family just did the moving truck thing, too. We sold our home in South St. Louis to move into the president’s house here on campus. A new home gained. An old home abandoned. And all of our possessions, in the transition, suddenly changed into a giant mass of Stuff.
Hopefully in all of this moving, some wisdom can be gained and faith can be exercised. For every earthly home must one day be left behind. All of our Stuff — that which we claim to be disgusted by, especially when we move, but which our hearts still stubbornly cling to—must also be relinquished. If not first destroyed by breakage, burning, rust or rot, it will be pried from our hands by our own death: For naked we came into this world and naked we will depart. Another will inherit all that was ours, and who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool.
God called our forefather Abram to move and in the process taught him something: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance … By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God … For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Heb. 11:8–10, 14–16 ESV).
And, as Paul says, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands” (2 Cor. 5:1 ESV).
The faith of our seminarians is remarkable, leaving behind homes and going where the Lord is leading them. What are they seeking to find here at Concordia Seminary? What are they going to find wherever their U-hauls take them when they leave? Not a lasting city, not glittering wealth. But rather a Savior who goes with them and will never leave them or forsake them. And, one day, an eternal inheritance in the “better country,” in the city “not built by human hands,” but built by the hands of Him who bled and died for them and who will love them forever.
What a joy it is to witness seminarians coming and going! What a joy it is to be His people, wherever He has taken us and wherever He will take us next!
Every blessing in Christ,
Dr. Thomas J. Egger