Absent in the flesh, with you in the spirit

I did not attend the installation of President Harrison today in Saint Louis.  It is not a matter of not wanting to be there.  A twenty hour drive, with church tomorrow was simply impossible.  It was, as Pr Rossow has stated, a service for the ages.  This is one of those occasions where you wish you could say, “I was there”.  Of course, memory is a funny thing, and in a few years, I will have convinced myself that I was there.  Then I can tell my grandkids about the time I drove all night home from the installation of the president in order to preach the next day.

Anyway, some reflections.  The last time there was a service at the Saint Louis chapel of this magnitude was Dr. Barry’s funeral.  I was there that day.  It was a day, at once more joyous and more sad than today.  It was assumed that Dr. Wenthe would be the next president of Synod.

Alas, God had other plans.  By allowing this time of confession, we are keenly aware of the great treasure that was missing these last few years.  Had we known the dark decade that was head, we would have wept more at his passing.   But then, by sparing us the gory details of the  fight that was to come, we were not given more than we could bear at the time.

That funeral, like the service today, was simply out of the hymnal.  Pastors preached and led the liturgy.  Hymns were sung.  It was not a Mass, although the service was indeed Divine.   The Gospel predominated, and comfort was given to weary sinners.

Today, from all reports, the same thing happened.  There was no flash, no razzle-dazzle.  Just Lutherans from around the world coming together to revel in the gifts which Christ gives.  It was good to have the old synod back.  A hopeful sign for the future.

May our Lord bless his church in the days to come.

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One Response to “Absent in the flesh, with you in the spirit”

  1. (Let’s try this again)
    Rev. Boar;
    If you think that memory is a funny thing when, in a few years, you’ll convince yourself you were actually there, wait until you can remember where you’ve been!
    Yes, it was a great service, and God’s service to us continues to be a great blessing. I can’t wait till I get to a coffee shop (and High Speed), so I can actually view the service on my netbook!
    Tony

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