Looking around at our contemporary culture, it is disturbingly easy for us Christians to become weary. We suffer the exasperation of an unending stream of bad news; increasing hostility toward the Church; and perplexing, blatant rejections of God’s magnificent goodness. Sometimes it seems as though He has forgotten, or simply doesn’t care, to intervene.
Our good works — the splendid fruit of the saving faith given and nurtured in Word and Sacrament — often appear to come to naught. Does such discouragement sound familiar? We think, “What little difference can it make that I love and care for my neighbor, when I am swamped in a worldly tsunami of sewage? Everything is headed for ruin!”
In such moments of angst, we are like little toddlers who have an ever-watchful parent — one who gently prods us to venture forth, no matter how tentative our steps. The Spirit of life has set us free from sin and death (Rom. 8:2); thus, we walk by faith, not by sight.
So, “if we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). We desperately and continually need His work — Jesus Christ crucified for our sins and raised for our justification — preached into our ears and hearts. By grace alone, not by our weary works, we stand righteous before God. Such a precise, powerful Word of encouragement fortifies us against the enemy.
Therefore, as we are presented with the “opportunity” (Gal. 6:10) — kairos in the original Greek, meaning the “right moment” or “apt season” — the Spirit’s descriptive prescription is this: By faith, let’s get to it. Perceive the kairos; don’t be distracted by the chaos. Surely you will see the harvest, for it is eternal life.
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart” (2 Cor. 4:1). “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, … encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24, 25b).
In recent months, I’ve had the great privilege of making a leap into a new calling, from blessed labor as a parish pastor to service for the church at-large as LCMS Chief Mission Officer. In this transition, I’ve been repeatedly awe-struck at examples too numerous to count of fellow saints in every corner of the globe who are doing “good to everyone.”
Turn the following pages, and you’ll get just a glimpse of what happens when Lutherans Engage the World in kairos and do not grow weary of doing grace-filled works of mercy for their neighbor. For these opportunities, to God alone be the glory!
Rev. Kevin D. Robson
Chief Mission Officer, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod