Thursday Evening Worship at the 2018 Synod Assembly

By The Rev. Michele C. Fischer

After an incredible meal and news from Lutheran Social Services Carolinas about “Love One Another” their capital campaign, synod assembly goers returned to the Exhibit hall which had been transformed. The round tables were gone, and chairs were lined up in neat rows. St. David’s Instrumental ensemble, a group of nine musicians (most brass players) serenaded attendees as they entered into the room.

The sermon, given by Bishop Herman Yoos, was based on the prayer of St. Francis, in particular the first line: “Make me an instrument of your peace.” Bishop Yoos reminded us that only God brings peace. As human beings, we like competition, and conflict. We want our opinions, our ideas, our champions to win, and not only win, we want them to dominate. Our egos love to win.

The prayer of St. Francis begins by acknowledging our own inability to bring peace on our own. Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, because I can’t do it on my own.

Bishop also reminded us that the peace we are praying for is not our peace. “Lord, make me an instrument of YOUR peace.” The peace we are seeking is not merely a cessation of violence. It is shalom, wholeness and well being. It is the same will of God that we pray for in the Lord’s Prayer.

And as much as we don’t want to admit it, Shalom is political, but not partisan. And while each party wishes to claim they have Jesus, Jesus is not either a democrat or a republican. But God did give us government, for the common good, and prophets to call out abuses of power and injustice.

God is breathing into our congregations, breathing in justice, peace and hope through peacemaking efforts, large and small. Yes, Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

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