A Banner for the Nations
He will raise a signal for nations far away, and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
and behold, quickly, speedily they come! Isaiah 5:26
According to naval history, the word ensign “comes from the Latin word insignia that means emblem or banner. A warrior who carried his lord’s banner or ensign became known as an ensign bearer and then just an Ensign (junior office).” According to Isaiah’s prophecy, the promised Messiah would come to be the banner bearer, who would draw to Himself those who had been drawn into the Lord’s service. Ultimately, Christ and His cross remain the ensign today which draws people from all nations to the Lord.
The second objective of the Synod is to “Strengthen congregations and their members in giving bold witness by word and deed to the love and work of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and extend that Gospel witness into all the world.” Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ is why every congregation exists. This second objective of the Synod occurs when members of the congregation carry out that task of bearing witness to Christ outside of the confines of the church building. Our District and circuits (the smaller division of congregations) fulfill this objective as we equip individuals to bear witness to Christ in their daily lives, as we serve together in our communities, and we collaborate to undertake new mission efforts such as church planting.
The Missouri District leadership has sought to emphasize this objective through our SHINE! servant events and our Plus One initiative. Our prayer is that congregations would not wait for a Synod or District effort or even for a reminder from the constitution, but that as people growing in Christ through His Word would be the means by which He raises a signal for the nations. May our congregations truly raise the banner that is Christ high into the streets of our community and extend that Gospel witness into all the world.” What a joy to think of 290 congregations giving bold witness to Christ where the Lord has placed them and to all the nations of the earth.
Prayer – Almighty God, You have called Your Church to witness that in Christ You have reconciled us to Yourself. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may proclaim the good news of Your salvation so that all who hear it may receive the gift of salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan