This past week I’ve had the privilege of spending some time with a couple of first year students from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Originally, my son Adam had planned to spend a week at the beach with three of his classmates. A volcano and tropical storm changed our plans. Adam and his friend John got stranded in Guatemala for an extra week beyond their mission trip, so David and Tyler got the beach house to themselves. We had them over for supper a few night and went out to eat with them twice.
It was a pleasure to spend time with some fresh meat…what I mean is some young bucks…you know, new blood who will be pastors in just a few short years. Adam is blessed to have some great friends. Our church body is blessed to have some excellent young men preparing for ministry. I was blessed to have a little time with them over the past few days, to laugh, eat, drink, and relax. When I was at the sem some twenty-five plus years ago, the hospitality of so may families was so important to a young single guy trying to prepare for the ministry. I met my wife through one of those families, found work through another, and enjoyed the prayer support of so many others.
If these two men are representative of our seminary graduates, I am very optimistic about the future of our church. They were easy going, faithful, caring, appreciative, and easy to talk to. Good with people, good with theology, good support for my son — great guys in so many ways. I hope they remember my comment that the friends they make at seminary will probably be some of the best they will ever have from now on. The friendships you form and nurture during your seminary days are unique, lasting, and priceless. Rarely will you find anything like that in the parish. These guys are a real answer to my prayers — friends to support, challenge, and encourage my son during his seminary years.
Once in a while I think about the truth that I’m not going to be doing this forever. Someday, one of these guys will be bringing communion to me because I can’t get to church very often. One day they’ll be preaching to me, making sure that I don’t forget about the grace of God, the sacrifice of my Savior, and eternal life. Having met these guys, I now look forward to those days. They’ve definitely got game!