Apr 05, 2023 Print This Article

Dear alumni

Dear alumni,

Stop being afraid.

There is a lot of fear in the world and a lot of fear in the church. There is fear in the heart of every human being. As we look at our own lives, as we look at the world around us, and even as we look at the church, there are certainly many things that can cause anxiety, worry and fear.

However, as we observe the great events of our salvation this month, the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, God invites us to stop. Stop being afraid.

Jesus has redeemed us. Christ has died and risen again and ascended into heaven — for us.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8:31–35 ESV)

My friends, stop being afraid. Step out daily into the life and the community and the vocation that God has given you. Serve others in Christ’s love and do your work in Christian hope.

Fear God alone. And fear not, for you are precious to Him. Fear not, for He knows how many hairs are (or aren’t!) on your head. (Matt. 10:30–31) “Fear not,” He says, “for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine” (Is. 43:1 ESV).

You know how much He loves you. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18 ESV).

It is an exciting month at Concordia Seminary. Call Day 2023 is on Wednesday, April 26. For our concluding students, for their families and for the congregations calling candidates from the Seminary, it is a time of delightful anticipation mixed with various worries and fears. And, of course, the work of the ministry itself brings moments of delightful satisfaction as well as seasons of worry and fear.

But the Lord of the church bids our seminarians and all of us: “My dear ones, stop being afraid. Do not fear. Live in the love, joy, peace and hope of My cross, My empty tomb and My coming kingdom.”

The Lutheran Service Book prayer for the Wednesday in Holy Week is a wonderful prayer for all times of anxiety. I invite you to pray it today, and to end it with a hearty “Amen.”

“Merciful and everlasting God, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all to bear our sins on the cross. Grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we fear not the power of sin, death, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”

A blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter to you all! Fear not!

In Christ’s love,

Dr. Thomas J. Egger