Dear Partners in the Gospel,
Greetings in the name of Jesus, our risen Lord and Savior. The evangelist St. Luke describes how on the first Easter that Jesus drew near to two disciples and walked together with them on the road to Emmaus. Though they were unable to recognize the Savior, He was revealed to them in the breaking of the bread. What a blessing it is that even in these dark and latter days that our Lord deigns to dwell with us as He revealed to us in His Holy Supper.
Our walking together within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod faces many challenges in terms of how we practice our confession of faith. The 2016 LCMS Convention adopted Resolution 4-04A “To Appeal to the LCMS Congregations, Workers, and Institutions Within Christian Freedom and For Love’s Sake to Retain a Common Order of Service for the Lord’s Supper.” The resolution calls for congregations “for love’s sake (Philemon 9), when celebrating the Lord’s Supper, to regularly use these basic components of the Order of Service (Ordo).” The resolution also calls for circuits and districts of the Synod “to engage in full and open discussion in the next triennium of how this spirit of unity and freedom is put into practice in our walk together.”
The Missouri District praesidium discussed the implementations of the resolution and agreed upon a small collection of brief essays on worship principles and elements that are included in Resolution 4-04A. My hope is that these essays will lead to fraternal discussions at circuit winkels as we seek “to strive for uniformity in church practices, but also to develop an appreciation of a responsible practices and customs which are in harmony with our common profession of faith. (LCMS Handbook, Article III.7).” May God bless our Synod with greater unity in our walk together as we confess to the world that Christ has indeed risen from the grave!
Fraternally in Christ,
Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan
President, Missouri District