Bishop Election Devotional for May 29, 2019


by Rev. Jackie Braun

As I sit down to write, the assembly is a few days away. It seems like it was yesterday the devotion committee gathered to bring an idea to fruition. What a joy it has been to read the various devotions and to be able to reflect on God’s Word and my neighbors’ thoughts on the call to follow Jesus, especially as the South Dakota Synod prepares to elect a new Bishop for the coming 6 years. So, thank you to all the writers that not only took time to write a devotion but also for sharing your faith and God’s Word with us.

This week a passage from Ecclesiastes 3 keeps bubbling to the surface, as I think of this week and the Bishop election.

“A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hurries to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they continue to flow. All things are wearisome; more than one can express; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, or the ear filled with hearing.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has already been, in the ages before us. The people of long ago are not remembered, nor will there be any remembrance of people yet to come by those who come after them.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

It is time. It is time to gather as members of a larger, broader church – the people of South Dakota, the people of the South Dakota Synod. It is time to say goodbye and say hello. We can give thanks for Bishop Zellmer and his answer to the call to follow Christ, by serving the people and the congregations of the synod; as well as, the church beyond these boundaries we use to define the church. Let us also give thanks to his wife, LaDonna and their family – as they too heard the call to follow and care for their loved one as they shared him with the church. And let us not forget the Synod Staff who worked alongside Bishop Zellmer and congregations and the people of our Synod. Thank you – for the gifts you have shared, for the people you have cared for, and for completing the never-ending tasks of Synod work. We lift you all in our prayers during this time of transition.

It is time! It is time to elect a new Bishop! We pray, Come, Holy Spirit, be with us. In this time to elect a faithful leader responding to the call of Christ to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Come Holy Spirit, guide us. We pray for our assembly and all those gathered. Come, Holy Spirit be the wind with us and safely direct our travels arriving safely at our destination. And of course, help us to arrive on time!  We pray for all those who have been lifted up as candidates considering serving as Bishop. We pray for all those that will be nominated. We pray for discernment, for clear speech and for the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. Give us words to speak, give us ears to hear, give us faith to step into the unknown, trusting in Christ. Help us Holy Spirit to be open and vulnerable to the process.

It is time! Come Holy Spirit.


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