A very wise and holy man once observed:
"If truth be told, my attitude towards all gatherings of bishops is to avoid them. I have never seen a good outcome to any synod, or a synod which produced deliverance from evils rather than the addition to them... Rivalries and maneouvres always prevail over reason.”
Anyone who has hung about Mother Mo for any length of time can completely sympathize with St. Gregory of Nazianzus' sentiment.
With a Synodical convention looming again this coming summer, the question arises what should we DO about the Synod and the current state of affairs?
Here's my suggested action-plan.
1. Trust not in princes, they are but mortal. And I don't care WHO your prince happens to be. The solution to what ails us is not politics, but repentance. And repentance happens via the preaching of the crushing law and the absolving Gospel, not the election of "the right" person.
2. Pray. Pray for your pastor, your parish, your circuit counselor, your district president, and your synodical president and other church leaders. Pray for them EVERY DAY. Pray for them to be faithful in proclaiming the Good News and in holding fast the apostolic doctrine; pray for them to be protected from the temptations of the enemy.
3. Humility. If there's one thing that reeks to high heaven in the whole mess, it is the pride with which "we" view "them." As though, "they're" just stupid, or unfaithful, or dishonest, or whatever. May the Lord forgive us all! Let's lose the pride that damns others - because that pride REALLY ends up damning us. Let us remember that our battle is never against "flesh and blood" but against "the principalities and powers."
4. Hope. The temptation to cynicism is great: Satan would really sell us on our situation being hopeless. And, of course, if it depended simply on us, it WOULD be. But the truth is that it doesn't. Our hope is the Word of God and the power of that Word to bring us to repentance, to keep us in repentance, and to lead us to ever greater faithfulness. To give up is to say: "The Word cannot effect a change here."
5. Show the Possibilities. Tired of hearing about how liturgical-minded folk don't care about mission? Me too. So let's show that not only do we care, but that we understand what the Church's mission is (rescuing idolators from false worship and bringing them into the worship of the Blessed Trinity, which alone IS life) and demonstrate a zeal in using the tools God has provided (the Gospel!) to reach out and liberate. Let's become not just people who subscribe to the Augsburg Confession; to borrow Schroeder's phrase: let's become Augsburg Confessors!
There's my five point plan. Anyone ready to join me?