The choral song “This is My Word” by Pepper Choplin that has been a mainstay at the Free Lutheran Bible College has long been a favorite of mine. I’ve even been a bit jealous at times that the Proclaim Choir has had a monopoly on singing it, but I dare not attempt to disrupt such a beautiful and long-standing tradition. Listening to it at this year’s Christmas concerts (https://vimeo.com/890702942), I was ministered to in a significant way. Reflecting on all the ways in which God has been molding and shaping me through the first semester of seminary classes, I was reminded of this simple imperative: “Proclaim the Word.” As the song and Scripture attest, this Word is effective to accomplish its purposes (Isaiah 55:10-12).
As I see Christ more clearly through the classes, the assignments, the oh-so-many-readings! and the fellowship of my brothers in Christ, I see the foundations of a pastoral ministry centered on God’s sufficient Word being laid. There are many things a pastor might do in the course of his ministry—many hats he might wear. At its core, though, a pastor’s call is to shepherd the flock through the proclamation of the Word—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on behalf of all sinners, myself included. In this sacred task, I pray the words of the song: “My God help me be faithful to the Word you have given to proclaim.” My confidence is in the Word.
– Hans Tanner, Seminarian
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