LCA Bishop John Henderson
Opening Worship, Tuesday 2 October 2018
What if God distracts us? Will we, will you, will I allow it? Are we prepared to be surprised?
At the not-so-burning bush God surprised Moses so much that maybe he wished he’d never turned aside to see what was going on. He did everything he could to argue his way out of the situation. He was so stubborn that God eventually became annoyed with him. Had Moses, and later on the people of Israel, been less objectionable, then God might well have got the whole rescue done much more easily and quickly than the 40+ years it ended up taking. But that, I guess, is human nature. God comes down to rescue us, but we still manage to find something to make us unhappy. Hallelujah! With what great patience God loves us!
The messages we will hear from Exodus this week will advise us not to conduct our meeting with a set of predetermined outcomes. Yes, we have carefully and responsibly prepared our business, as we should. Yes, we will treat each other respectfully and listen more than we speak. We will listen, not just to each other, but also to the Spirit. We will listen to the Word. As Lutherans we will be perceptive to the right use of law and gospel, the two kingdoms, the means of grace, and the pastoral ministry through which God serves us. This week, God willing, we will go to sessions well-prepared, listen carefully, speak occasionally, and vote when necessary. As we do those things God will be active, and when God is active, prepare to be surprised. Things might not work out the way you expect.
So this week, let us be ready to listen for God, and maybe to be surprised. God comes down to rescue his people. We know that’s true because we have salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord. What remains for us to do now is to listen for his Word, to live the faith, and to follow in his ways.