Editor's Note: This letter was written for the 2018 Spring/Summer Arbor Light magazine, a biannual publication of Concordia University Ann Arbor. Catch the newest edition dropping in mailboxes at the end of April. For your free subscription of Arbor Light, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is something quite different about Concordia University. Of course, we are proud of our academic excellence, outstanding faculty, impressive array of co-curricular experiences, and our accomplished alumni who make meaningful contributions to the world. But other institutions do those things similarly well. In fact, to the casual observer, what we do seems fairly common in the field of higher education. What sets us apart, what makes us uncommon, is that our ordinary university is attached to the Word of God and connected to His promises.
Common that is uncommon. This is a theme the Church well understands.
While everyday onlookers may observe the gifts of Word and Sacrament and be very little impressed, to those who by faith believe, these means of grace convey something remarkable. For it is “by grace you have been saved through faith,” and the gift of God has been given to us in Christ Jesus. When the Promise, the Incarnate Word of God is attached, the common becomes uncommon. So, too, our good Father gives to us His grace through ordinary, down-to-earth means with transcendent and divine effect. Regular tap water splashed atop a forehead, a taste of common bread and a sip of common wine consumed in the usual way; there is nothing uncommon about those things. Yet when the Word is attached to these ordinary elements, the gift of grace given becomes, in a word, uncommon.
It is the promise of God in Jesus Christ, Himself the Word made flesh, that transforms each day into something special. What is true for us collectively at CUAA is true for each student who walks through our doors. We are “gifted by grace and prepared for a purpose.” The promise of God’s grace in our lives brings hope for the ever after and meaning to the everyday. It is what makes Concordia University uncommon.
Concordia University. Live Uncommon.
REV. PATRICK T. FERRY, PhD
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.