Yesterday (Sept 29) “our Concordia,” Concordia University, Ann Arbor, celebrated its 50th anniversary with two events. The first was an excellent worship service in the Chapel of the Holy Trinity. It was truly a service of praise and thanksgiving to God. For a service to fulfill that aim, there needs to be a lot of singing. Good singing. You expect a service of prayer and preaching to live up to its title with those elements done well; you expect to receive the Lord’s Supper in the Mass.

No small part of that was due to the magnificent choir of present and past students. Their numbers alone filled about a quarter of the chapel. I make this observation: a men’s choir can convey a solid, sturdy texture to the music. But yesterday’s mixed choir revealed how much is missed when the high registers of the human voice are absent. I can only say that some of the music was ethereal. In a way I’ve rarely experienced, the choir anthems caused me to anticipate what the book of Revelation hints at when it talks about the multitudes that will be singing praises to the Lamb. It was a textbook example of what Luther means when he talks about the power of music. My thanks to all the musicians who made that a genuinely uplifting and memorable experience.

President Harrison preached a very fine sermon based on the school’s motto from Colossians, “That in all things Christ might have preeminence.” I especially liked the way he spoke of how Christ, through whom all things were created, has a rightful place in a university where all things created are studied.

Which brings me to the second event, a ribbon cutting for the newly-reconditioned science building. Because of the rain, the ribbon cutting was done quickly. The fresh and updated classrooms offer as much to the university symbolically as they do practically. The project signals to students, faculty, staff, and the supporting congregations of the four districts, that Concordia Ann Arbor does have a future. The atmosphere on campus is very positive now and I pray that the events of the 29th point forward to a joy-filled 50 years to come. Continue to pray for President Ferry and his very capable staff!