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Dear alumni

Dr. Thomas J. Egger photo

Greetings in Jesus Christ, whose compassion for us sinners calls forth our devoted service and eternal thanksgiving!

What does it mean when we say that Concordia Seminary is all about Jesus? What does it mean to say that Lutheran theology is Christ-centered? What does it mean to say that the ministry of the church is patterned after the ministry of Jesus Himself? Many volumes could be written, and have been written, elaborating on this.

On June 24, 2022, the news came that the Supreme Court had overturned the longstanding Roe v. Wade ruling which had prevented states from restricting most abortions since 1973. As Christians, we rejoice in the prospect that this new ruling could lead to the protection and preservation of many lives, each one the handiwork of God and the object of His fatherly concern and compassion.

For us as Christians, the initial joy, relief and thanksgiving for this decision now properly gives way to the realization that some very practical challenges lie ahead. Conservatives have lamented the widespread practice of “abortion of convenience.” But this expression itself acknowledges that pregnancy and parenthood are often, for very real and weighty reasons, experienced as overwhelmingly inconvenient. Each child a gift. Each child a miracle. Each child a blessing. But oftentimes also, this child at this time is a great burden.

How will Christians help their neighbors to bear this burden? In a time of deep political division and societal anger and animosity, in what ways can we as individuals and congregations come alongside women, helping them to find joy in the blessing of a child and to bear the unique burden that a child might be in each unique circumstance?

As we enter the post-Roe era in our country, what better starting point can we find in addressing these questions, and what better motivation, than the numerous Gospel accounts of our Lord’s compassion for women in troubled circumstances? The Samaritan woman at the well. Mary Magdalene. The woman caught in adultery. The Canaanite woman desperately seeking help for her daughter. The sinful woman who wept on Jesus’s feet and dried them with her hair. Mary and Martha in their grief. With Jesus, these women found honesty, mercy and help.

Now as always, may the merciful heart of Jesus Christ, and the mercy which we ourselves have received from Him, strengthen us to bring our help and compassion – and Jesus’ – to others. And God grant us wisdom in these vulgar and volatile times to speak the truth with love, gentleness and self-control.

The Lord grant you His wisdom and His compassion – and great joy as we await the day when He will end all disputing and wipe away every tear.

In Christ’s love,

Dr. Thomas J. Egger
President