At the District Synod in Ipswich this year, the delegates learned about the connection between my Dad and the way in which I sometimes casually say the words, “Praise the Lord”.
I had no background in the Lutheran Church. I came into our Church through my years as a student boarder at St Peter’s Lutheran College. My Dad wasn’t a Lutheran either. After my parents’ divorce, my Dad travelled to Brisbane and found himself gathered into an Ipswich Pentecostal Christian community in the 1970s and 1980s. From that Church group, my Dad learned to say “Praise the Lord” as a statement of his thanksgiving to God in all circumstances. He would sing it in the shower; he would say it morning, noon and night. Even once when we were in a car accident, he turned and said to me, “Praise the Lord!” (No one was injured – just the car).
So this trait of my Dad has stuck in my soul and in my vocabulary. But for my Dad, this habit of saying “Praise the Lord” wasn’t a careless ‘throw-away line’. During his life, he had been in dark valleys and he deeply knew his need to call on the name of the Lord in good times and bad. When he was saying “Praise the Lord” he was actually declaring his own dependence of God’s provision in everything.
Since I shared this story of Dad’s influence and my tendency to blurt out the phrase “Praise the Lord” at the Synod, permit me to share some of my own words of praise for the actual Synod itself:
Praise the Lord for the many faithful women and men delegates from the communities of our Church in Queensland, who traveled and gave of their time to serve in the work of our Synod. Praise the Lord for the workers from our Churchwide LCANZ offices, including our Bishop John Henderson, who traveled to Ipswich to provide resources and support for the work of the Gospel amongst us.
Praise the Lord for the many women and men of our Lutheran communities in Queensland who offered their gifts for the Board, Councils and Committees of the District, including those who were not elected or re-elected at this Synod. Praise the Lord for the many people involved in the program and preparation of the Synod, especially the presenters and the planning committees. Praise the Lord for the people of the Ipswich Lutheran Community who worked wonderfully together to enable a smooth and celebratory convention of Synod. Praise the Lord for the commitment to robust discussion and debate with saw all the proposals for governance change adopted during the Saturday session of Synod.
Praise the Lord for the call extended to Pastor Mark Vainikka to take up the work of a ‘full-time’ First Assistant Bishop.
The very last verse in the Book of Psalms gives a good end for my devotional thoughts here:
“Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!”
In Christ, Paul