BY REV. DAVID MERRITT |
With the approaching Synod 2022 of our Province coming in a few months, I see another set of issues that should demand our attention. Along with our official agenda and the election of leaders of our church, the greater need is summed up in the words of Moravian Seal.
Following our Lamb means for us all to be honest with ourselves and with the issues facing our church as a whole. Although we might find it convenient to focus on finances, motions and elections, the primary objective for our church is to look forward to where the Lamb is leading our church. The Lamb is in front of us, not just seeing where we need to go but actively embracing the future that awaits us. The triumphant Lamb of God has gone before us; we must be willing to embrace that future as well.
If we are honest with ourselves, we often want to see just what we are used to seeing, or at least the images/traditions that are familiar to us. Yes, worship, education, mission and fellowship will exist in our churches much as it did the New Testament Church. But the “shape and daily function” of our congregations will need to change to meet the needs of an increasingly secular society. Church will be more about following and envisioning than merely planning and perpetuating our existing models.
As the church, not the denomination, we need to see God and the person and work of Jesus as more than a talking point. The Conquering Lamb is also the suffering servant, the ever present guest, the stranger in our midst, and the least of these in real terms – not metaphors. Given this forward looking Lamb, the church must lead by risking all, loving all, and embracing a world that is created by the very same God we worship each week. Regardless of what we think, God is beckoning us forward.
Last but certainly not least among our Synod’s goals has to be the old adage that I was taught in one of my first jobs at Western Auto: “How we do what our jobs (our behavior) is as important as what we do (our mission).” We are first and foremost brothers and sisters.
One of the early sea vessels transporting personnel and goods for the Moravian Church was called Harmony. Our vessel, if you choose, our Synod, should be one of harmony that is more than a tacit appreciation of others but a deep concern for the other’s well being.
So, if our motto is more than just words that we say when we are asked to remember, then let us see what Jesus sees and embrace the world that lives in the eternal future of God’s Kingdom. Love in All Things!
Give us vision, Lord inspire us,
take us to the mountain height.
Open us to new horizons;
cast on us your gospel light.
From Mount Zion speak your message;
form our hearts to live aright.
Lord, give us vision.
-Arlo Duba (Words Hope Publishing Company, 1996)
About the author
The Rev. David Merritt is a retired Pastor, former Dean, Outreach Director, and Chaplain, but he’s “papa” according to his grand-kids. David loves God, Laurel Ridge, and his family. He has enough sense to get out of the rain but prefers raindrops anyway.
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