Some words of encouragement from Dr. Dale Meyer, president of Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis.

Who knows what today will bring? We fear the future, not always but often. What might put too much strain on a marriage, what beyond your control might hurt your children, what emergency might collapse your tottering finances, and failure at work? I was surprised to hear many pastors are quietly afraid their ministries will fail, memberships decline, and maybe the church close. Who wants a failed pastor? That’s not really surprising; we’re all human. Aging brings experience. “I’ve been through this before” but that’s only helpful sometimes. Maturity brings fears we didn’t have in our earlier years.

“Whom have I in heaven but you?” (Psalm 73:25). “Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, and by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love support us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.” (Lutheran Service Book, collect 193)

“Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). We’re not there yet this Advent, but Jesus continues coming to lead us on.


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