Apr 03, 2024 Print This Article

Dear alumni

President Dr. Thomas J. Egger

Jesus knows you, and He calls you by name. Jesus is a true shepherd, and a true shepherd, Jesus says, “calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3 ESV).

At Concordia Seminary, another school year has been flying by, and our annual Call Day approaches. At our evening Call Service, future pastors and deaconesses will hear where the Lord is calling them to serve. They will hear their name, followed by the name and location of their assigned congregation. The Good Shepherd Himself will call them by name and lead them forth.

Jesus has called them by name before, and He has called you and me as well. In the waters of Baptism, through His Word and promises spoken by the pastor, Jesus was calling us by name. In that life-giving water, rich in grace, Jesus named us as His own. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Is. 43:1 ESV).

On the first Easter morning, in the garden outside the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene was overwhelmed and weeping. The resurrected Lord approached her. He asked her a question. She replied, but she still didn’t realize that it was Jesus until He said her name, “Mary.” And she cried out in joy and amazement, “Rabboni!” — “My Teacher!” (John 20:11-16).

To be redeemed by Jesus. To be rescued from sin and the power of the grave. To be loved by such a Savior. To be known by such a Savior, and even called by name — that is the joy of being a Christian.

One day, Jesus will call our names, and we will sit up from our graves and come forth to resurrection joy and eternal life (John 5:28). For now, Jesus has called you to a particular place to love and serve others in His name, just as He has loved and served you. May we live each day in this joy, in this calling, and in this resurrection hope. Christ is risen, Alleluia! He calls us by name, and He is leading us forth!

In Christ’s love,

Thomas J. Egger