Reading time: two minutes.
In the weeks following our synodical convention, I’m reflecting on the intersection of my experiences in Milwaukee and the Lutheran Wellness Wheel. For Christians, Spiritual Wellbeing is grounded in our daily and lifelong encounters with Jesus in Word and Sacrament.
And considerable time was spent at the convention in worship and the Word. My week in convention has served to reinvigorate my passion and desire for my daily time in Word and prayer, but maybe not in the way you’d expect. I shouldn’t be surprised that a week of “mutual conversation and consolation” with my sisters and brothers in Christ affirmed for me once again that we are all a bunch of clay pots. We are truly a collection of the most unlikely ambassadors for the gospel of Christ that I can imagine.
I say I shouldn’t be surprised, and it’s true. I know myself well enough. My time with you in convention simply showed that you’re just like me.
We’re in pretty tough shape, aren’t we?
It was nice to see long lost classmates, or to hear them speak in debate. “Lost” is probably a pretty good word. There’s a lot of wisdom in the church. I give Jesus all the credit for that. There’s a lot of “us” in the church also. That’s our fault.
I enjoyed re-connecting with classmates, with synodical leaders like the members of our Council of Presidents, with whom I had many conversations, and also with many of our rookies. Why so many circuits send their youngest, freshest seminary graduates to convention I haven’t quite figured out yet, but they do.
And we sure do all need Jesus. I heard a lot of things that made me say, “Huh?” in Milwaukee. Some were heard in the preaching, the essays and the worship. Some were heard in the resolutions and the debates that followed.
That’s mostly because my feet are made of clay. I was also reminded of what Frederick Buechner once said about all of our shoes being filled with clay. It’s really true.
It’s true, but it’s not discouraging. In a word, Spiritual Wellbeing is “receptivity,” a longing and yearning to encounter Jesus, the Servant King, as He is found in the Word and the Sacrament. My time at convention impressed me with how much I need Jesus, and how much our church needs Jesus.
“Speak, Lord. Your servant listens. I’ve been hearing too much of my own voice lately, and too much of voices that sound eerily similar to mine. Speak to me what I need to hear.”
I pray daily for pastors; an hour on Sunday mornings. I pray for our Council of Presidents by name every Tuesday.
In Milwaukee, I learned better how to pray. That’s a very good thing!
Thanks for reading!