Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

24 January 2009

Like a Cow Staring at a New Gate ...

... or an Emeritus Professor at a Statue of Saint Paul*

The Word Becoming FleshAs part of its Day of Reflection, Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia, Missouri honored the Reverend Doctor Horace Hummel, a 1945 graduate of St. Paul’s College, with its Apostle Paul Award. This award was bestowed in honor of Dr. Hummel’s years of distinguished service to the Church. Hummel preached and taught in a number of places and spent two decades as a professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis. He wrote a number of scholarly works, including an excellent introduction to the Old Testament, The Word Becoming Flesh.

Dr. Hummel intimidated many students but those who persisted in their studies under him saw great reward in their understanding of the Hebrew language and the theology and structure of the Old Testament. I must admit that after hearing “horror stories” about his expectations for his students, I hoped to avoid him.

However, the sem’s alphabetical lottery put me in the last group to register for my first OT class and Dr. Hummel was the only prof with openings for my requisite course. After finishing that initial quarter under him, I was in the first group to register for the next term and could choose my teacher. By that time, HH had me hooked and I chose him as my first option. Today, I had opportunity to talk with him as a beloved colleague and then to join those assembled at the evening’s banquet in a standing ovation for this scholar and teacher par excellence. Of course, our thanks also went out to his wife Ruth for her support of her husband through the years.

After our eating and drinking, SPLHS Headmaster Paul Mehl introduced Doctor Hummel, who approached the microphone to respond to his introduction and reflect upon his years as a theologian:

Dr. Hummel

He soon warmed to the task and began punctuating his unique verbal delivery with classic gestures:

Dr. Hummel

Finally, he received a statue of Saint Paul from Pastor Mehl as a physical token of the Church’s gratitude:

Paul Mehl and Horace Hummel

The Day of Reflection is held on or close to the commemoration of the Conversion of Saint Paul (25 January). This year’s opening service was led by the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Schurb of Zion Lutheran, Moberly, Missouri. Following the day’s theme “Educating for Vocation,” the morning presenter was Pastor Brent Kuhlman of Murdock, Nebraska and the afternoon session was led by Pastor Mark Sell of Friends of Mercy. Jim Dahlke, pastor of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Ernestville, Missouri and SPLHS religion instructor, conducted the closing service.

*For those unfamiliar with Dr. Hummel, he fully appropriated and frequently cited this remark attributed to Martin Luther. You could almost guarantee that it would pop up at least once in any course he taught. And since he grew up in Nebraska farm country, you can bet that HH knew whereof he spoke and always used it in context.

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Blogger Kathy said...

I'm glad to see that Lutherans can still appreciate statues as a reminder of someone you love and revere and not "graven images".

Congratulations to your mentor. He sounds great.

January 25, 2009 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Rev. Paul Beisel said...

Interesting--my daughter will be attending St. Paul's next Fall as a freshman.

April 25, 2009 at 10:46 AM  
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