Higher than our ways

I’m listening to some lectures that +Kenneth Korby+ gave on Confession and Absolution back in 1998. It was actually a continuing education class – a shortened version of a class he taught a number of times at the Saint Louis seminary in the 1990’s. And what a class it was. Even after 20 years in the ministry, and much studying of the topic, Korby teaches me to think in ways I had never considered before.  I’ve had the recordings for a long time – over a decade – but I wanted to finish Catechetics first before I dived too deeply into a new project. Ultimately, the topic of the lectures is not the point of my post. The history of these recordings is.

One of the men scheduled to attend had something come up in his congregation. He had to cancel. Korby mentions it on the tape. He says that he prayed God would allow him to come, but God had other plans. Indeed He did. One of his friends made the recordings. They were only supposed to be for him – with maybe a couple of other personal copies made, free of charge, for some others. Korby was, at the time, working with CPH to make a video series on the topic, and he didn’t want these recordings to ruin that. It would have been a much higher quality – both the presentation and the technical aspects would have been top notch. Alas, it was not to be. Korby would suffer a stroke in 2001 that robbed him of his ability to speak. The eloquent voice of the prophet was silenced. But the recording remains. A recording I would not have, were it not for whatever congregational problem that pastor had to face in 1998. Cancelling a Korby class at the last minute – what a disappointment it must have been. I feel badly for that pastor. But for the sake of the church, Korby’s lecture – I think it may have been the last time he did the full class – has been preserved. It’s still available in a few district A/V archives. That’s how I found it.

Now (DV) it’s the subject of my next major project. I don’t know when/if it will be finished. But I plan on using it for my continuing ed for the next few years at least. Lectures beget notes with scriptures to dive into, confessional citations to examine, books to read, rabbit trails to head down, etc. And then writing. It’s a long path, but I always come out the other side a better pastor and teacher.

Thanks to an unforeseen problem more than two decades ago, and prayers answered differently than we wished, but always yes according to God’s will, I have this new project before me. I’m grateful for that. And I pray it will be a blessing, however it works out. It always is.


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