“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
— Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)
I’m not the first person to think of this scripture when I consider the dramatic changes that have taken place over the past couple of years.
But it is something I’ve tried to keep in mind.
It would be easy to see the COVID-19 pandemic and everything associated with it as loss: the isolation, disengagement with church, and most devastatingly, the lives lost.
And while I would never seek to minimize the grief associated with all we’ve lost, I can’t help being pulled back to this passage of scripture and asking, “What new thing are you doing, Lord? And how might we perceive it?”
In this issue of Story, you’ll read about Christian leaders and communities that are asking these same questions. You’ll learn how pastors in rural churches have adapted; explore what our alumni have learned and what they’ll leave behind in light of all the changes of the past two years; and get to know more about the Faithful Innovation work taking place right here at Luther Seminary.
It seems to me that to perceive the new thing that God is doing, we must be always learning—what God is up to, what our neighbors need, and where we are being called to join in.
That’s what these stories remind me to do. I hope they do the same for you.
Robin J. Steinke President