It is a truth universally acknowledged that an LCMS in possession of a convention year must be criddly.*
To peruse Facebook or Twitter, you’d think that:
- Going to a convention = the world is ending.
- Delegates will each receive 40 lashes upon arrival, departure and at any point in which they start to wonder if this is an amendment to an amendment or an amended amendment’s friendly amendment . . . to the amendment.
- St. Louis in July is that of which we do not speak.
- Please see numbers 1-3.
But here’s the thing:
- Conventions can actually be fruitful. We talk about this stuff incessantly online, but for one week every three years, we are forced to discuss it in person, pastor to pastor, delegate to delegate, man to man. We learn how to articulate our confession in ways that are direct and helpful. We have true Life Together. Sometimes it’s comfortable. A lot of times it’s awkward. But it’s real.
- Synod politics? Those are a myth. Synod theology? That’s fact. We’re not at the convention to discuss taxes and votes. We’re there to discuss theology, and if, as the good Dr. David P. Scaer noted, all theology is, in fact, Christology, then we’re there to be about the things of Christ.
- And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing, no matter the temperature.
We don’t have to be criddly. We don’t have to act like a convention is some great burden we must endure. Instead, we are to be firm. We are to be resolute. We can and must be opinionated. We are to dialogue. Most of all, we are to be faithful.
That is to say, we are to be Lutheran.
And when the convention is so 42 seconds ago, when the workbooks are put away and the exhibits pulled down, when the last tweet has been tweeted and the last flight has left Lambert airport, Christ is still the head of His Church. The convention and all its accoutrements will not deter Him from loving the LCMS, from forgiving it, from loading it up with blessings beyond measure . . . again and again and again.
And if there just so happens to be scotch and cigars in the evening? Well, that doesn’t hurt much either.
*owly, grumpy and, in general, a total bummer