Notes from the Artist
The 2012-2013 banner for Concordia University Chicago bears the theme, “Our Life, Our Joy, Our Treasure,” and, with the Hymn of the Year, points to Jesus, our Priceless Treasure! Six heart-shaped segments suggest the truth of Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” Three of the hearts highlight symbols of Jesus’ earthly history: His Birth, Death, and Resurrection. Three hearts opposite them depict our experience of Him in Holy Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, and in the Written Word!
The theme passage in 1 Peter 1:3-9 describes faith in Jesus as more precious than gold, refined by fire. As God’s people endure fiery trials and sufferings, His Holy Spirit is present with us to shield us and to help dissipate our fears and sadness (like smoke) so that we are filled with glorious joy! The dominant color on the banner is gold, and one can envision a golden tiara set with precious gems of sapphire, ruby, emerald, pearl and diamond, all of which pale in contrast with Jesus, our Priceless Treasure!
-- Lois (Reischauer) Prahlow ’60
Reflections on this year's banner, scripture and hymn:
Each academic year Concordia is guided in the Spirit by a banner, scriptural-theme and hymn. This year’s hymn, Jesus Priceless Treasure, stands as one of the great Lutheran chorales, its text focusing the faithful on Jesus the Savior, alone. No treasure or pleasure, fear or failing, joy, honor or hardship—nothing, not even death itself, shall displace the Lord’s loving rule in our hearts and lives.
Johann Franck (1618-1677) modeled the hymn text on a popular love song of the day. The original German reads rather like a divine love-letter: Jesus is the Christian’s true joy, rapture and delight. Yet the text’s affectionate feel makes it no less powerful a statement of faith. Standing with Christ, all foes of body, mind and spirit are defied. Even though the earth shakes beneath me, and Satan assails me, and the world tempts me, and death does its worst to me, yet I remain secure in the strong arms of my Divine Love.
Charles P. Brown, DMA, director of choral activities at Concordia, has composed a new, festival arrangement of Johann Crüger’s (1598-1662) well-known hymn tune. Dr. Brown’s work adds a delightful concertato to the many musical settings inspired by the text and tune over the past 350 years.
Lois (Reischauer) Prahlow ’60 once again designed this year’s processional banner. Her art has always beena confession of faith, but this year’s work holds special meaning for her. Her beloved husband, August ‘Augie’
Prahlow ’57, died this year after a long and difficult struggle with cancer. Lois speaks beautifully of the many gifts of love, prayers and encouragement from family and friends. She writes, however, that “the perfect gift was the Lord Jesus, Himself, who walked with Augie through the gate of death and welcomed him into His glorious heavenly presence.” Lois believes that the final verse of this year’s hymn serves as a wonderful commentary on her and her husband’s last year together.
Hence, all fear and sadness!
For the Lord of gladness,
Jesus, enters in.
Those who love the Father,
Though the storms may gather,
Still have peace within.
I here must bear,
Thou art still my purest pleasure,
Jesus, priceless treasure!
— The Rev. Jeffrey Leininger, PhD, campus pastor