Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Not so fast.... Not so fast...
In order for this election to mean something, we as the Pastors and parishes of the LCMS must agree to be led. That is a tall order. We are a contentious bunch. We each see things from our own vantage points and assume we know it all. We love to paint it all into matters of clear confession when somethings are much more complex. We talk about Synod but we keep our dollars close to home because whether they are our guys or their guys -- they are still bureaucrats (Barry had money problems just like Kieschnick). We love a good speech or sermon but then we get on the planes and had home to do what we have always done (secure in the knowledge that our congregationalism means nobody can tell us we are wrong).
So I would urge a cautious optimism at best. We may have a new President of Synod, but we are the same old Pastors and parishes, set in our ways, certain that "my" way is the best way, and about as hard to lead as cats are to herd. I sensed a moment of grace when Pastor Chuck Mueller took a moment after the election to honor the new President's election. But today we will be winding our way through a myriad of motions, by-law changes, and other elections. We still have a Synodical budget crisis. We still have Ablaze and Fan into Flame baking in the oven but not yet done. We still have the odd circumstance of laymen authorized for Word AND Sacrament ministry. We still have 30 something individually tailored deacon programs out there. We still have different ideas of table fellowship, faithful worship, and appropriate methods of outreach to sort out.
Elections are easy. Leadership and governance are much more difficult. So before we party, let us pray. Before we gloat, let us confess. Before we predict a bold new future, let us pull up our sleeves to sort out the issues and meet before the cross. Before we talk about some prophetic moment, let us affirm our willingness to be rebuked, corrected, reproved, and edified (and not just our neighbor's). Then, perhaps, we may actually see some of the promise of this moment realized. Every week we pray for the man who presides in Synod, for our Bishop, and for our Pastors. Let us start there so that we all know their names and carry them in our hearts close to God for the good work they will do, the mistakes they will make that we should forgive, and the honest disagreement that will continue among us.