Oct 31, 2023 Print This Article

Dear alumni

Dr. Thomas J. Egger photo

Let’s run together.

I bet you feel like you are always running, running, running. The Scriptures often speak of our life and work as Christians as a long race. We endure by keeping the faith. We endure by fulfilling our God-given work in our various callings.

I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Acts 20:24

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.

Heb. 12:1-2

The “race marked out for us” is not always easy. So, thanks be to God that we don’t run alone! The Lord Himself has promised to be with us (Matt. 28:20), and He watches over our every step (Psalm 121).

He has also blessed us with others who run with us. Our life’s “race” is not an individual feat, like Charles Lindbergh or Amelia Earhart on their famous solo flights. As Christians, we run together; we seek to win the prize together (Phil. 3:14). Think of an auto racing team where the driver and the whole pit crew are all essential. Think of the scullers on a rowing team skimming along the water as they pull together. As Christians, we seek to support one another and to work in harmony and in sync as we run the race.

This is true in many ways and on many levels. As an institution of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), Concordia Seminary has the joyful opportunity to work in harmony and collaboration with our broader church. We are not called to be a solo act but to be part of a great team in carrying out our Lord’s mission. We want to run the race together. We want to row together with our church.

The sixth of twelve areas of focus in our current strategic plan is “Collaboration with our Sister Seminary and throughout the LCMS.” Together with Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., we are looking for ways to have occasional faculty exchanges, and we are planning for an annual joint faculty retreat and increased interaction between our students. Concordia Seminary is delighted to house the national office of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League on our campus. We deliberately seek to coordinate our service in international theological education with the worldwide priorities of the LCMS Office of International Mission and LCMS Church Relations. Our faculty meet annually with the LCMS Council of Presidents (district presidents plus the LCMS praesidium) to discuss key topics affecting our shared mission. And we are exploring ways to strengthen direct connections with LCMS congregations in order to encourage pastors and recruit students. The phrase is clichéd, but it is true: we are better together.

Keep running, brothers and sisters! Keep running! Christ is risen and reigning. He is coming soon. May the Lord sustain you and refresh you. He is with you every step, and your running is not in vain.

Run the straight race through God’s good grace;
Lift up your eyes, and seek His face.
Life with its way before us lies;
Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.

LSB 664, v. 2

Keep running! And as we run, let’s run this race together!

In Christ’s love,
Thomas Egger