On the Road Together
“Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures.” Luke 24:32
Synod means “on the road together.” The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is comprised of congregations, ministers of religion – ordained (pastors) and ministers of religion – commissioned (teachers, deaconesses, directors of Christian education and outreach, etc.). We walk together on the road or way that is Christ Jesus in our preaching and teaching and life together. In a time when so many Christian denominations have been “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Eph 4:14), our congregations and called servants still confess that the Scriptures are “the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and practice” and that the Lutheran Confessions are “a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God.” (Synod Constitution Article II). For all of our faults, our members have pledged their faithfulness to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.
The ninth objective of the Synod is to “provide protection for congregations, pastors, teachers and other church workers in the performance of their official duties and the maintenance of their rights.” The Synod carries out this objective through districts as congregations and church workers alike who have pledged to abide by the conditions of membership. The rights of both congregations and church workers are to be honored and respected in our life together as both groups are members of the Synod. Laypeople have always been represented and esteemed through congregations. Honoring both groups has been vital in the governance model of the Synod.
This objective is also carried out as the Synod, through its districts, assists when conflicts arise among congregations and church workers. The goal is never to support one side against the other, but to protect equally the rights of the members of Synod. The danger of bylaws is that our attention is taken off of Christ and His Word. However, the constitution and bylaws of the Synod seek for the Word of God to be the basis for how our members always address conflicts among us. May we truly be “on the road together” as we confess Christ and His Word in these dark and latter days.
Prayer – Almighty and everlasting God, may the congregations and servants of our Synod remain faithful to Your Word and may our life together always reflect that Christ remains at the center of all that we preach, teach and confess; who with You and the Holy Spirit are one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan