From 2011 Synod Assembly
Sermon from opening worship
Excerpts from the Report of the Bishop: On becoming a multicultural church...
"We don't walk out of here either hopeless that the unfolding future is too big a challenge, nor should we walk out of here complacent because of all the things we do. Instead we walk out of here as good Lutherans! Meaning that there is a both/and at work: God is to be found here and God is found in the becoming, in the not-yet. We're good enough theologians to know that God hasn't promised us to be found either in despair or in self-congratulation, but in the creative tension that has always been where God meets us:
- In the affirmation of who we are--and the confession of who we are--and the invitation to become more than we are.
- God meets us in the embrace of our time and place and the kind of visions that Simeon had holding the baby and John had with the nations gathered--visions that God is moving to have us be so much more than we are.
- So we recognize that invitation, and in one more paradox, we recognize within ourselves the two reactions. One that gets excited about the adventure of God leading us to a new place and the other than clings to the familiar, that regards the foreign and strange and different with foreboding and hostility.
"Living in creative tension, we have every right to be people with a confident hope--but a hope that makes us squirm a bit at the awareness of what we are not yet. The hope that makes you squirm is the creative tension. It's the vitality that propels us into the future because it allows us to focus on others beyond ourselves. And that's fine. In the end, we're not on our own. We're God's people. And we live in the promise of an unfolding future...."