Leadership Devotion - December 2016 - "Jesus is Lord"

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)

For many of us, we learned about Jesus as Lord in our early Sunday School and Bible School days leading to confirming our faith as teenagers. At confirmation we grew in our faith and understanding that Jesus is Lord. Although the earliest statement of belief or creed was simply “Jesus is Lord”, other creeds evolved to help Christians understand their Lord in the early centuries after Jesus’ resurrection. Three of these are the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed. The most used is the Apostles’ Creed which became the official creed of the western church in the 9th Century. The Nicene Creed eventually became the official creed of the Eastern and Orthodox Church, although we use it on some occasions. When I was a youth, my home congregation used the Nicene Creed on the first Sunday of each month when we celebrated communion. The lengthy Athanasian Creed is used rarely in our worship.

In 2017, we are celebrating the 500th year since the Reformation when Martin Luther nailed the 95 Thesis on the church door in Wittenburg. Luther’s writing clarified our understanding of the scriptures as well as church doctrine including the Apostles’ Creed and the source of our faith as a gift of grace from Jesus without merit on our part.

So how does this belief fit into our leadership position in our community, church or family? First of  all, “Jesus is Lord.” This may sound obvious or even silly but this takes the burden off of our shoulders or those of the pastor or mission board or committees. With Jesus as Lord, all we need to do is serve this Lord by telling others of this Lord who came to us and to serve others who are also children of God, even if some of them may not know it yet. No matter what our leadership position, we are servant leaders, encouragers of others and proclaimers to others. Even though we have many creeds that have been helpful in giving us an insight into the heart of God, they all can be summarized into one belief or creed—“JESUS IS LORD.”

Let us pray... Jesus our Lord, we thank and praise you for coming to us with an  eternal purpose to include us in your heavenly kingdom. Help and guide us to serve you and others as a response to your grace and love for us. Amen.

Dave Stenberg is a member of the Nebraska Synod Leadership Development Table from Grace Lutheran Church in Lexington, Nebraska.