All of the first year seminarians arrived to gather in the basement of the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus as we were marching in together. As we filed up the stairs the feeling and sound must be what athletes feel when they are getting ready to emerge from the tunnel. The vibrations from the organ and deep voices singing sends chills down your spine. 87 future pastors marching in one by one is a sight to behold. In hindsight maybe having us go in two by two would resemble the Christ sending the disciples out two by two. (Mark 6:7-12)
The Order of Service was “The Office of Vespers”.
Here is a run down of the service…
The Processional Hymn: Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing LSB 528
The Psalmody: Psalms 133 and 134
1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, 27-31
Choir Motet: O Lord, I Love the Habitation of Your House
2nd Reading: Mark 7:31-37
The Office Hymn: Word of God, Come Down on Earth LSB 545
The Sermon: Title: Life Together Text: Galatians 2:20 – Rev. Dale Meyer
It was quite obvious from the beginning the sermon was directly mostly at the 1st yr seminarians. Rev. Meyer made eye contact with the entire congregation and then focused in on the 1st year seminarians. He talked about the was before us in the coming years. He spoke of struggles and triumphs. He spoke of Christ dying on the cross for us and that we too were crucified with him. Which leads me to something interesting. I only bring this up because it has happen twice in 5 days. Rev. Meyer asks the 1st year seminarians a question. We all think it is a rhetorical question so no one answers. He is then slightly disappointed and again asks the question so that we are supposed to reply. I don’t think any of us were expecting his sermons to be interactive even after orientation. Hopefully, he doesn’t think we are dead and not enthusiastic. I would hope he would see it as a sign of respect and a willingness to learn from him.
The title of his sermon comes from the book Life Together by BonHoeffer. It also doubles as the theme for this upcoming year. Here is an excerpt from the back of the book…
“…It reads like one of Paul’s letters, giving practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups. The role of personal prayer, worship in common, everyday work, and Christianservice is treated in simple, alm0st biblical words. Life Together is bread for all who are hungry for thereal life of Christian fellowship.”
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community. New York: HarperOne, 1978
Rev. Meyer expressed hope in us to tackle the challenges that await us in our ministries.
The Canticle: Benedictus Sing Praise tot he God of Israel LSB 936
The Rite of Installation: Rev. Dr. Kent J. Burreson , Dean of Chapel
The Prayers: To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray LSB 768
The Opening of the Academic Year
The Recessional Hymn: Church of God, Elect and Glorious LSB 646
Fantastic service. A little warm with the suits on, but I can’t say enough about the strong voices and that organ. If you ever get a chance to get down to campus for one of the big services. Make ever effort to do so. Experience it for yourself.