Priorities for the church

I appreciate your article in the June/July issue of The Lutheran Witness that featured the priorities of the candidates for President of Synod. It was interesting to note that the #1 priority [of the candidates] varies from being inward focused to outward focused. The laypeople look to Synod leadership for both guidance and support. Because of this great difference in #1 priority, I went to my Bible to review the teachings of Jesus, the example he set for us, and the changed lives of the Spirit-empowered disciples following Pentecost.

There is an urgency that is consistent. Repent for the Kingdom of God is near. Repent and be baptized, every one of you, for the forgiveness of sins. What are we commanded, not suggested, to do? You are the salt of the earth, light of the world. Let your light shine before men. The Gospels are page after page of what Jesus expects us to be and do as a result of believing in and following Him. It is not for personal favor or gain. And, He says we will be held accountable.

Jesus showed impatience with the church leaders, asking them to study what he said. He also resisted being labeled. He is a Jew, but even if it were meaningful to Him, He never felt it was necessary to mention which sect and sub sect He or His family was a part of.

The Gospel lesson for Sunday, June 17, from Matthew 9: 1-13, gave me much insight as to Who Jesus is and what His priorities are. I will review the #1 priority of each candidate as it reflects what I find when I study the priorities of Jesus.  His teachings are what support and sustain my faith and keep me focused, especially when I become weary and look for strength and direction.

Roger Harting
Decatur, Illinois


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