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The Lord be with you
And also with you

These might be familiar words that frequent your worship services each Sunday. We say them instinctively, oftentimes without giving them a second thought. The responsive nature almost conditions us to chime in as a reflex. 

As we approach Synod worship this year, we invite you to pause and think about the significance of these words, which will open each of our services throughout the week (in multiple languages!). When someone says “The Lord be with you”, they are making the bold declaration that God is indeed with us. It’s not a summons or invitation, or some kind of wishful thinking. It is a declarative blessing, proclaiming the truth that God is with us. Our Synod worship theme this year will walk through the different emotional seasons of life and invite us to recognize God’s presence. God is with us in times of peace and joy.  God is with us in our anxiety and fear. God is with us in seasons of trust and also in seasons of doubt. The Lord be with you, Synod 2024. 

And also with you. The second half of this declaration reminds us that we are not alone. Our worship and our work at Synod are done within the spiritual community of our sisters and brothers in Christ. We say these words to one another, and with one another. God is with you too. 

Synod worship will regularly call us back to remember God’s presence among us. As delegates arrive in the early morning to begin the work of the day, we’ll start with the Psalms. Through the practice of lectio divina - a spiritual practice that invites us to careful listening of the Scripture text and the Spirit - we as a community will begin each day praying with Scripture. After lunch, we’ll reorient ourselves to God’s presence in Scripture and song. In the evening, using the words of Philippians 4, we’ll refocus on the theme that “the Lord is near.” Each of these brief moments interjected in our day will draw us - not out of our work, but towards the work God has set before us to do. 

We can say it no better than our dear colleague, Scott DeVries, whose absence is and will be keenly felt this year. Before his death, Scott wrote this: 

Worship - Synod is worshipful in nature. Every activity and aspect of synod is done in deference to our Lord Jesus. And to ensure that, at times we must stop and refocus on that reality through song, petition, reading and expounding on Scripture, and other elements of focused worship. We try to schedule enough focused worship throughout the days of synod that hopefully very little time passes for any delegate to let their mind wander from the necessity of recognizing the Lordship of Christ over and in every other moment of synod.

The Lord be with you, Synod 2024
And also with you


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