At the time these personal reflections are posted (composed this past Sunday afternoon), the first electronic ballot for President of Synod has been completed, though the results are not yet known. But all is in God’s hand, as the Word of God implies: “For not from east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting one down and lifting up another” (Psalm 75:6-7).

Daniel 2:21 has a similar thought – we serve at God’s pleasure, wherever we are. God places us where He desires that we serve Him. Certainly, as Lutherans, we believe God works through the means of His church, through means such as elections, whether in congregation or Synod. Of course, at one time it may be that God works through us, or sometimes in spite of us. But that’s His business.

One great comfort for called pastors, I believe, is the confidence we serve where God wants us to be, not where we have placed ourselves. Yes, we are called to trust that God knows where to “put one down and lift up another,” in the words of the Psalm, and He is able to do that no matter what means we might use.

To apply that personally means that I have been given the privilege of serving as pastor in three different congregations, as a district president for 16+ years, and now for the last three years as your First Vice-President. However God wishes to use me in the future has not yet been determined, but it IS in His hand. My preference is to continue to serve where I am now, with the people He has given. But MY preference doesn’t count. God will make His judgment. His will, will be done, and His will for us in Jesus Christ is ALWAYS for our good.

So who will be elected? Again, that’s God’s business. We may have our personal desires, but God will truly have His way. In our present process, He is using the electors of our Synod to place whom He wants where He wants. May He give each of us grace to serve Him faithfully wherever and whomever HE lifts up. After all, it WILL be good. It’s all in His hand.

Yours in Christ’s peace,
+ Herbert Mueller