This month we highlight our Synod’s three-fold emphasis “Witness, Mercy, Life Together”, and focus on how we might apply these three areas in our congregation and community. Here are some basic questions “WMLT” questions to ask together as we seek the Lord’s guidance for the future.
Witness: Who are the people around us who do not know Jesus? Or have become disconnected from Him? How might we connect with some of them? Where are they? Who among us meets them as part of our various vocations? How might we get to know them so that we have the opportunity to confess the name of Christ? How might we find ways to baptize and teach them?
And we have seen and testify (witness!) that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God (1 John 4:14-15).
Mercy: What are the needs in this community? Who are the “invisible” people in the community? The people no one else notices? How many folks in your community are hurting? Why? Who are they and what are their needs? What do we have to offer them in the name of Christ? How can we be the arms of Christ’s mercy for them? How can we find them?
We love because he first loved us. If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:19-20).
Life Together: What is the health of our fellowship? How are we connected to one another? More importantly, how are we connected to Jesus Christ? Are we regularly in the Word of God, remembering our Baptism, receiving our Lord’s body and blood, in which He gives life? How many of our people are? Does our congregation live in love with one another as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us?
If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:6-7).
The things we do as the body of Christ in “Witness, Mercy and Life Together” really do matter. Christ has made us His own, forgiven our sins in the blood of His cross, and declared us righteous by His resurrection. As we receive these gifts by faith, we rejoice in them, knowing our connection to Christ is sure and secure. And living as His forgiven people, our witness, mercy, and life together are simply what we do as the body of Christ.
We witness so that the Spirit might connect others to Jesus. We show mercy so that hurting people may receive the love of Jesus. And we strive to live together in peace, because God has called us to be one fellowship in and through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.