Walking the streets of Strasbourg this morning, getting coffee and breakfast, I was overtaken by the enormity of this Academy and what it may mean in the future. I reflected on dinner last night at Brasserie De La Bourse. This restaurant embodied the Alsatian style of food and needless to say, it did not disappoint.
Seated at the table with me were Ministers of Word and Sacrament from Lutheran Churches in North Dakota, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania and Germany (though he is South African) as well as a woman from Milwaukee. Together we shared where we came from both by birth and neighborhoods, stories from childhood and adulthood, to where they came from theologically.
All of them, except myself, grew up Lutheran but had various experiences about their vocations and the ministers regarding their call to the ministry. Together we shared our common faith and marveled at the Hand of our Lord God in bringing so many from differing paths to this Academy. As I shared with them how I have gone from Pentecostal to Charismatic to Dutch Reformed to Lutheran, together we rejoiced that "now the Bible is simple...no more hoops to jump through."
One moment that stood out was when I was sharing with these brothers and sisters in Christ the uncertainty, the doubts of salvation I struggled with under both pentecostalisms work plus grace system and then the double predestination of the reformed view (aka Calvinism). One of the pastors turned to me and said,
Nancy, you know how at the end of each section of the catechism it states, "This is most certainly true."? The reason it is there is because of the certainty of the faith and the scriptures, and most importantly, of our salvation in Christ. You no longer have to doubt because this salvation, Is most certainly true.
He encouraged all at our table to remember this when we read the Catechism: Certainty!