Yes, this is most certainly true. 2017 is a very important year for Lutherans. Not just because it is the 500th anniversary of the reformation, but because we, Lutherans, are needed now more than ever. Dr. Andrew Bartelt stressed the importance of being Lutheran in today’s culture, leaving a resonating notion that Lutherans have something right going on if the Lutheran denomination is making disciples of all nations. Dr. Bartelt’s message was well received by the audience, which was composed of senior saints, honors students, students there for extra credit, and people there just to hear what was said for educational enjoyment value. Whomever was in the audience, there was a message for them. The message was not just for Lutherans, it is for all denominations of Christianity alike, for all Christians compose the living, breathing body of Christ.
It is a Christian’s duty to be the hands and feet of God, to do His good works, to make disciples of all nations, to go into the world and share the good news. In today’s culture humans are interconnected via technology through social media, connecting an individual to a seemingly unlimited amount of other individuals. And advantage must be taken of this, all available resources must be used to fulfill the works of God. Christians, and Lutherans in particular, must proclaim their faith without shame. This modern world discourages the discussion of religion, when religion is what the world needs most. Religion gives the world something to identify with, something to unit in: God’s grace. It is the duty of Christians to share God’s grace with the world, for if they do not then whom shall?
Walking into the BEC I ran into a family friend, Susie Norris, who is a senior saint of the LCMS. I did not expect to see her there, but then again, she is Lutheran and 2017 is a very important year for us as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Seeing Susie there reminded me how significant Lutheranism is to the community we live in here at CSP, we value our Lutheran theology and culture. We understand and practice keeping balance in our lives by keeping an eye on the past but looking towards the future; which is how Lutheranism is growing — keeping its original members while gaining new ones. There’s appeal to both being sacramental and evangelical; we maintain a healthy balance between the two by acknowledging the tension. It is not only important for a denomination to be sustainable, but also a necessity in our lives in order to live a healthy life. Not only must we take care of ourselves physically and mentally, but spiritually as well. There are three components of the “health triangle” just as there are three components of God, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We as Lutherans, as Christians, must maintain a balance of the Holy Trinity to stay spiritual healthy. More often than not we focus more on one than the other two. The evidence of this is the schism between Baptists, Catholics, and Lutherans. We focus too much on what makes us different and not enough on how we are all children of God and saved by His grace. We must remember “antithesis : thesis :: thesis : antithesis” for it is “the tension between the antitheses which keep us balanced.” If the church cannot find balance within its self than how are we supposed to help an unbalanced world?