Aug 31, 2023 Print This Article

Dear alumni

Warm greetings to you from the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, as we begin our 185th academic year!

Each year we choose a theme to set the tone for our labors and our life together. The theme for the 2023-24 school year is “We Belong to Christ.”

This theme is drawn especially from two Bible passages. Paul exhorts Christians: “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20 ESV). Elsewhere, Paul writes: “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Rom. 14:7-9 ESV).

We belong to Christ. In a culture that seems to have lost all sense of purpose, in a sea of young people who seem aimless and adrift, this truth is clarifying and invigorating. Our lives have purpose. We have been purchased by the blood of Christ. He is our gracious Lord. He calls us to walk in paths of service, love and faithfulness. We are not our own. We live for Him.

We belong to Christ. In a world full of challenges, sufferings and sorrows, this truth is the ultimate ground of comfort, hope and encouragement. Whatever this world throws at us, whatever trials we endure. We belong to Christ. In life and in death, we are the Lord’s.

The artwork that portrays this year’s theme has the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, with a lamb carried in His strong arms. I am that lamb. And so are you. He has purchased us with His blood. He has claimed us. And we are His.

God help all of us, then, to give ourselves, fully, to the work He has called us to do, to the neighbors He has called us to serve. Let us be focused, resolute and joyful. We belong to Christ!

The work of Concordia Seminary is going strong. You, our graduates, are touching lives in countless communities and all around the world. Please remember us, and especially our new students, in your prayers, as we begin our 185th year. We pray and we labor so that many others might believe and be baptized, so that many others might find their place in Christ’s hands and in Christ’s arms forever.

We belong to Christ. Thanks be to God!

Thomas J. Egger