Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
Every 3 years, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod dominates the month of July, and this year happens to be one of those years. This month, the National Youth Gathering takes place in San Antonio, Texas July 1–5; and the Synod Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri July 20-25.
The name of my blog is Such a time as this based on Esther 4:14; in this passage Mordecai comes to Queen Esther and tells her that she may have come into her current position of power in order that she might be the one who will save the Jewish people from certain destruction. So too for myself, and for each of us today, who knows if we have not come to this moment in this time and place, so that we to might accomplish something important, it may not be saving people from the hand of the sword; but it may be calling people to repent and be baptized for forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
I think of this as I consider the theme for the upcoming convention: Baptized for this Moment. It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that we are living in the last days, and that these are particularly difficult days to be a confessing Lutheran, not just in the world, but also in our own neighborhood. As it stands the future looks grim in terms of what will happen with health care, not just financially but also ethically. Combine this with the threat posed by false religions, some even posing as traditional Christianity, and the confusion experienced by many will only continue as to what the Church teaches. All of this will ensure that there will continue to be no shortage of pressures and temptations on believes of all ages to compromise the faith into which we were baptized.
And so where do you find yourself? Hopefully not sitting on the sidelines, content to disengage from the world in its most desperate hour, waiting as Jonah did for God to smite the nations and reward you and you alone; for the truth of the matter is that you have not been born for this moment, but you have been baptized for this moment.
The world is no doubt teetering on the edge of catastrophe and apostasy; but the opportunities that present themselves for mission work, for expanding our presence on the internet, for preserving and promoting the faith for future generations are very great indeed. Exciting new opportunities are available through programs like LCMS U to promote campus ministries, through the Witness, Mercy, Life Together initiative, through a whole host of pastors and lay people using the internet to promote the Gospel using blogs, videos and podcasts such as Issues, Etc. and Worldview Everlasting; and of course our ten colleges and universities and our 2 seminaries.
The world may look at our Synod as barely a blip on the radar; many inside of Synod may look at these opportunities and shrug, wondering what they could ever do; but this is the moment that we have been baptized for; this is why we have come into the kingdom: for such a time as this. Today, in the year of our Lord, 2013, is the time when we exercise our role of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world sitting in darkness.
And this is true not only of those gathered in St. Louis to do the business of the Church; it is not only the experience of those in San Antonio for the Gathering; it is for you, in your home, in your workplace or classroom, in your daily life. For you have been baptized, for this very moment.
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt