The Psalmist invites us to be open to learning God’s ways in the world. “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me in your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me.” This invitation for guidance and deliverance roots us in the hope of God’s promised future: hope in the midst of uncertainty, hope in the midst of fear, hope in the midst of upheaval—hope that has been sorely tested of late.
It was almost exactly two years ago when I first sent notice to the Luther Seminary community with the news that we would close our campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and move all classes, and as much of our operations as we could, online. What a two years it has been! Now we’re shifting from managing a pandemic to managing an endemic virus. COVID-19 will not go away entirely, but it has evolved and so have we. Scientific discovery has led to the availability of tests, vaccines, and accurate monitoring that now empower us to return to some pre-pandemic norms while continuing to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our community.
But while things begin to shift with regard to COVID-19, more challenges are on the horizon.
Violence is wreaking havoc in Myanmar, Ethiopia, and, of course, Ukraine. Immigrants are fleeing war torn areas, and I pray that they will receive hospitality from those staffing the borders, so that they may be welcomed with love and respect.
Hope comes from being strengthened by the promises of God’s love and grace for all—giving us courage and resilience to resist evil and violence.
May we stand in solidarity with those searching for hope. May we be conduits of God’s justice. The God who first loved us into being is continuing to teach us what it means to love our neighbor. May we do so faithfully.
Robin J. Steinke, President