What Does This Mean?!
Over the course of the last few weeks I experienced two events that lead me to the same question. The first was the annual writing of the letter that goes to the parents of the confirmands who do not attend Zion Lutheran School. This marks the passage of the summer and tells me that it is about time to start teaching faith again. And we do that in the wonderful words Martin Luther used in his Small Catechism so many centuries ago, What Does This Mean?
The other event that I experienced was the National Convention of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. This assembly is the governing body of our Church. In this event which happens every three years we elect our Synodical President and other offices, debate programs and the resolution and deal with the issues of the LCMS. I simply went as an observer this time. I was a delegate to the convention in 2001. And as I observed the convention and its actions, I am led to the same question: What Does This Mean?
While the question sounds identical, the answers are totally different in reality. For the national convention did things that I am not sure are good for the future of the synod. This is a matter of politics. They had many speakers who said many nice sounding things, but I am not sure that they accomplished anything. The election saw a sweeping change in leadership. While the president was re-elected, the vice-presidents and other offices now have people in them who are committed to a vision of the church that is different then mine. Is that a bad thing? I don't know. What Does It Mean? At this point, only time will tell. Is this the beginning of a new golden era of the LCMS? Perhaps. Is it a change in direction that will lead us away from our historical moorings of the truth of God's Word and Sacraments? I Pray NOT! Is it time for Zion to look at how we commit our Mission Offerings? Absolutely! What Does It Mean? I just don't know.
But the letter I wrote to the partents of the confirmands who will attend the mid week class, I know the outcome of that. Those young men and women will learn WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? They will learn it because I will teach them what God says. There is no uncertainty in this. The world may take different understandings, but God's Word does not change. The truth is the truth, no matter what any convention says. The Gospel is still the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes! The Word of God still speaks words of Law which convict us of sin and words of Gospel which tell us wonderful things God has done for us in Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and at the empty tomb. THIS is what it means!
So, What Does This All Mean? It means that we here at Zion have the call from God to be faithful to Him. We need to see that we are doing whatever we can to see that the LCMS is faithful. If it cease to be, then we need to make serious decisions as a congregation. But in the mean time, WE need to be faithful. Faithful to the Word and Sacraments. Faithful in teaching our children, our community and our world the answer to the question before us What Does This Mean? For God has given us the answer to that which matters. Now He calls us to tell them. Tell them all! God grant us the grace to do this.
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