May 2014

Gratitude and peace

I have a number of feelings as I finish my time at Luther Seminary, but most profoundly I feel gratitude and peace.

First, I am deeply grateful for how God's presence has been evident during our recent journey. While it has been a challenging year and a half, there have been many moments of hope and encouragement. The faculty, staff, students and supporters have responded—and continue to respond—with amazing strength and wisdom.

I have been privileged to see the Body of Christ at its finest—and I am deeply thankful for that. I am grateful for the promising developments that will commence in the coming months, including the start of a new and forward-looking curriculum and the arrival of Dr. Robin Steinke as president. But I am grateful for so much more: particularly the gift of working alongside so many of you who have embodied the gospel of Jesus Christ with grace, energy, prayer and presence. I sincerely thank you.

And I am at peace. "Peace be with you," says Jesus. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you ... Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid" (John 14:27). "Peace be with you," says Jesus. "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" (John 20:21). As I conclude my service at Luther, I am at peace both for myself and for all the colleagues who will be carrying forward the mission. It is a peace filled with excitement and gratitude. It is a peace without fear. And it is a peace that can only be found in knowing we are called, sent and empowered by God.

Nancy and I will continue to live in our home two blocks from campus. We look forward to our new role: joining so many of you as supporters and cheerleaders within the larger Luther Seminary community.