Concordia Journal

Volume 40, Number 1 (2014)

Last winter, when the Old Testament scholars of Concordia Seminary’s exegetical department put together an issue of Concordia Journal on interpreting Isaiah, they inadvertently started a new tradition. (Are there any traditions that don’t start out “inadvertently”?) To wit: we have begun to use the winter issue of Concordia Journal, for the time being, as an opportunity for each faculty department to use however they wish. This time it is the practical department’s turn.

The words that appear in these pages don’t have an overtly unifying theme like the essays in last year’s from the exegetical department. They are rather some of the professors’ discrete reflections on how they are each responding to the needs, challenges, and opportunities in, with, and for the church today.

And perhaps that’s enough for now. Sometimes the church’s ministry in the world provides us with a unified theme to rally around. But sometimes the church’s ministry requires something more like life in a diaspora . . . thoughts and reflections that attend to a number of concerns at the same time, none of which necessarily supersede the others. And sometimes it’s both at the same time. It seems to me that we are living in just such a time as this, that life and ministry are calling us to places that can feel like both a homecoming and an exile, thoughts that at times are both concentrated and scattered, trends that can be simultaneously permanent and ephemeral.

And perhaps this is an appropriate reminder in this season of light, especially as Concordia Seminary enters the 175th anniversary of its founding by reflecting on the motto printed in its seal: anothen to phos (“light from above”). The star’s bright-white light that led magi to Bethlehem is the same light from above that prismed into the colors arcing over Noah and the new family he made of all earth’s creatures. The same promise is embroidered in every sparkle of light, as if each were a swatch from the fabric of Joseph’s coat of promise. The promise of God is the kaleidoscope through which light comes to life. It is reflected in the polychrome gifts of the Spirit coming down from the Father of lights. It shines in the various earth tones of his Son’s face. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:4–5).



Homiletical Helps

Book Reviews


Executive EDITOR
Charles Arand Dean of Theological Research and Publication
Managing Editor of Theological Publications
Travis J. Scholl
assistant editor
Melanie Appelbaum
Andrew Hatesohl
Theodore Hopkins
Andrew Jones
James Kirschenmann
Emily Ringelberg
Michael Tsichlis