When 2020 dawned, none of us knew what was coming.
A pandemic. A reinvigorated movement for racial justice in the United States—and a backlash against it. An avalanche of disinformation. A period of increasing political polarization. Yet here we are, smack-dab in one of the most difficult moments in living memory.
It might feel hopeless at times, but even in the midst of all this, the Holy Spirit is moving to create Christian communities that love, bless, and serve one another and the world. After all, this is what God has promised to do!
In the Gospel of Matthew, the resurrected Jesus instructs his followers to go into the world and make disciples. Then he tells them, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (28:20).
These days, the forms of Christian community are changing, but there is no doubt that Jesus is with us, just as he said. Each day, Christian communities are being strengthened and transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness to the reality of Jesus’ presence in the world.
In this issue of Story magazine, we’ll introduce you to some of what God is up to—both here at Luther Seminary and in the Christian communities our alumni serve.
You’ll discover what our alumni and leaders of Christian communities are doing to help congregations work for justice and belonging during a politically polarized time; how podcasts are keeping the seminary community and users from around the world connected and informed; and ways our international students have formed a tight-knit community on campus in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
May the presence of the Risen One be a strength and comfort to you, even during this period of trial.
Robin J. Steinke