First, a link. This guy has really put his finger on something I think regarding the changing of the face of the LC-MS. It is worth the read.
Second, a Smile. I couldn’t help but smile inwardly (and not really a happy one at that) during the Call service at CTS Fort Wayne last night while I listened to the Synodocrats drone on with their speeches of self-importance, their personal stories, and their constant references to the “brothers,” “brothers and sisters,” “brother pastors,” “brother…brother…O Brother!!” These guys really like to hear themselves talk I think. It is probably an occupational hazard. I would like to think that if I were in their shoes I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t drone on with speeches that were drenched with self-importance, but I’m probably wrong. It probably comes with the territory. I take that back. My DP (Fr. Bueltmann) is not like that. I think he is genuinely humble. Same with Gary Arp from IDE. They are not full of themselves. They get up, say a few words, and sit down. I appreciate this immensely about them. I am glad to serve congregations in their districts.
It just struck me as funny, in a way, because as I looked around me I could see by the looks on the faces of the lay people that they loved every minute of it. They adored President Kieschnick, they adored the chairman of the C.O.P. (Council of Presidents). There was a glow on their faces, as if they were really excited to hear what was being said. Perhaps I have grown too cynical, too early. I just wasn’t impressed. I kept thinking to myself, “Why do you have to try to sound important? Why can’t you just be ordinary?” Anyway, I don’t want to be completely uncharitable. Those men have a very difficult job. I would not want their responsibility. I know that they carry many burdens that I will never know. Many of them probably would rather be serving in parishes, preaching the Gospel every Sunday like us lowly parish pastors, and that is why when they do get a chance to speak to a public gathering they really have an overflow of words. Nevertheless, my advice (in the way of the Gospel, of course) is: keep it simple, and consider those of us who are holding three-year-olds during the whole service in our laps. 🙂