“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
The last few months have seen servants in our Lutheran churches and schools adapting to our circumstances and finding new (or old) ways of carrying out their work. Pastors have been mailing printed copies of sermons to nursing home residents. Directors of Christian Education have hosted Zoom meetings for parents to give them ideas for family devotions and teaching the faith. One Lutheran school teacher began Bible bedtime stories with her students and attracted a loyal following. Our congregations have provided the Word through call-in numbers, Facebook live, Zoom meetings, YouTube, drive-in style services in parking lots, and other creative “twists.” Each of these approaches is evidence that the Word of God may not be bound, but that it will have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ’s holy people.
While public worship has resumed, our congregations and schools still are looking for creative ways to carry out our charge of preaching and teaching the Word of God. The blessing comes not from the innovation, but truly from the Word. God has preserved His Word throughout history in spite of oppressive governments and unfaithful church leaders. Whether the Word has been recited or read, preached or sung, the Holy Spirit has been enlightening and sanctifying the whole Christian Church since our Lord’s ascension.
The return to school and the approaching of Fall will witness many traditional church and school activities put on hold. Now is the time to trust that God will continue to accomplish what He intends through His Word. Our congregations and schools can look for ways to let the Word of God have free course as it is transmitted to families with young children and nursing home residents, college students and military personnel. While it puts a strain on our servants as they look for creative solutions, the consolation is that it is ultimately God’s plan and purpose that He is accomplishing. The Word of God endures forever!
Prayer – Almighty God, grant to Your Church Your Holy Spirit and the wisdom that comes down from above, that Your Word may not be bound but have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ’s holy people, that in steadfast faith we may serve You and in the confession of Your name, abide unto the end; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan