Jesus Christ is the Light that Scatters the Darkness
L: Jesus Christ is the Light of the World,
C: the Light No Darkness Can Overcome
L: Stay with us Lord for it is evening
C: and the day is almost past.
L: Let your light scatter the darkness
C: and Illumine Your Church.
The season of Advent takes place when the days are short and the darkness lingers. It is good for us to be reminded that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, the Light no darkness can overcome. Our hope and prayer during this gray and latter days is the Gospel that we proclaim would truly scatter the darkness and would bring hope.
This issue of the Voice focuses on how various ministries carryout their mission work of proclaiming Christ during the Advent and Christmas seasons. From choir concerts to community service projects, our congregations and schools actively proclaim Jesus Christ, the true Light in the midst of all flickering lights we find in our world today. The true Gospel message is that of which we bear witness in Word and song across our land.
The celebration of our Savior’s birth is not a nostalgic event, by which we long for simpler days of the past, but rather the understanding that Christ continues to come among through His Word still today. He still scatters the darkness of despair as His love is announced by young children and to older adults. This Gospel message is also a light for the nations as people from different tribes and nations see the salvation of God in the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Once again this Advent and Christmas season, we give thanks to God for nativity of our Lord, that Christ came to be our Savior. We also praise God that this message is truly for all people and that our congregations, schools and campus ministries are reaching people from more than fifty countries. Please join us is giving thanks for the great work that our Lord is doing among us as His light scatters the darkness and illumines His Church!
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan
Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan was elected as the fifth president of the Missouri District-LCMS in 2015. He is a 1992 graduate of Concordia College (now University), Seward, Nebraska. He graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis with a Master of Divinity in 1996 and Doctor of Ministry in 2011. Dr. Hagan served as associate pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evansville, Indiana from 1996-2002. In 2002, he was called to serve as senior pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Concordia, Missouri until he was elected district president. Additionally, he served as the Interim Director of LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission from 2011-2012. He has previously served as Missouri District first vice-president from 2012-2015, fourth vice-president from 2011-2012, and chairman of the Board for Congregational Services from 2006-2011. He has presented workshops and retreats on a host of ministry topics including elders, rural ministry, outreach and ministry to inactives. He has written articles for Lutheran Witness, Concordia Historical Quarterly and Missio Apostolica. He has led mission trips to Cambodia, China, Guatemala and the Bahamas. Dr. Hagan is married to Jill (nee Johnson), who works as a speech-language pathologist. They have two children, Caroline and Jack.