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Sunday, October 10, 2010

South Korea - Day 2 -- Luther Tower Dedication

Luther Tower in Seoul, South Korea
The dedication of Luther Tower was quite the event. It was the result of four years of hard work by President Um, his staff, and the Lutheran Church in Korea. It is a 24 story building with 5 underground levels (for a total of 29 levels). If the building occupancy holds, they hope to have the loan paid off in four years. The income from this building should be a great blessing for mission in the future.

Statue of Martin Luther Translating the Bible

Luther Tower Dedication
Greetings from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
10 October 2010

Greetings in the Name of Jesus and from your brothers and sisters in Christ in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. President Matthew Harrison sends his greetings to you on the occasion of your Synod Convention and the dedication of the Luther Tower. President Harrison sends his regrets that he could not attend and celebrate with you in person and asks for you understanding that other duties and commitments prevented him. Be assured that he and the LCMS rejoice with you and give thanks for you.

The dedication of the Luther Tower is a momentous occasion. Who would have imagined this day from the humble beginnings of a handful of LCMS missionaries in the late 1950s? That early work of proclaiming the Gospel, both in congregational settings and through mass media efforts such as the Lutheran Hour, and the theological training work of people such as Dr. Ji, led to the formation of the Lutheran Church in Korea (LCK) in 1971. Now forty conventions later, you are dedicating the Luther Tower to the glory of God.

The success of the Lutheran Church in Korea and the accomplishment of the Luther Tower is something to give thanks and praise to our Lord God, who brings all good works to fruit. You and your church leaders are to be commended for their foresight, vision, and dedication to be good stewards with the resources the Lord has given you. Your present accomplishment and future success as a Lutheran church in Korea rests on the foundation of Jesus Christ, his precious and life-giving Gospel, and his forgiving gifts bestowed in the sacraments. As Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthian congregation, “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 3:11) May all your work remain on the foundation and cornerstone of faith, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

You may recall that the breakthrough when Martin Luther discovered the Gospel – rather, when the Gospel set Martin Luther free – has been called Luther’s tower experience. At Luther’s tower experience, the Gospel set him free from the tyranny, fear, and curse of the Law. He was set free from sin, death, and the power of the devil. He was set free to live in his baptism and to proclaim and confess the Gospel of Jesus boldly to the world.

Today is a “tower” experience of sorts for you as well. Not in the sense of the discovery of the Gospel – for you already know the Gospel, but in the sense of living in the freedom of the Gospel to boldly extend the kingdom of God in this place. With the Lord’s help, the Luther Tower will help the Lutheran Church in Korea (LCK) to extend the Lord’s kingdom by planting and forming congregations, to expand Lutheran education and theology at the Luther University, and to extend the mission of the Church to foreign lands.

The goals you have for the Luther Tower are built on the desire to promote Christ to the world. You have built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Luther Tower stands as a witness to the world. When struggles, difficulty, and the cross come upon you and your church (and they will) remain on the foundation of Jesus Christ, for from there nothing can shake or move you.

Today, we, the LCMS, celebrate and give thanks for you, the Lutheran Church in Korea (LCK). We rejoice with you in the dedication of Luther Tower. May Christ continue to bless you and keep you steadfast on the firm foundation.


  1. What an outstanding letter! Yes! May we all remain on the foundation of Christ Jesus, in His life giving Gospel, and be nourished by the forgiving gifts of His sacraments!

  2. Dr. Collver, I hope you get to meet Pastor Im Dong-Jin of the LCK. He is also a famous actor in Korea. His portrayal of General Yang Manchun, in the historical drama "Dae Jo Young," was outstanding. Pr. Im is the 6th from the right in the second row. Once you begin to watch those Korean historical dramas you'll be hooked!

  3. Dr. Colver,

    May I inquire about the lady wearing the clerical collar? I figure she is a representative of another church body? I hope. :)

  4. I'm appreciate your writing skill.Please keep on working hard.^^