Phone: 701.636.5701
204 Caledonia Avenue East, Hillsboro, ND

Sr Pastor Joe Johnson 701.430.3787 

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“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

 

What must we do to help our neighbor?

In 1999 the ELCA adopted a missional theology of accompaniment. Missional accompaniment is “walking together in a solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality.” The principles of accompaniment include: mutuality, inclusivity, vulnerability, empowerment, and sustainability. Missional accompaniment starts with faithfulness. It starts with prayer and discernment. It is about being a disciple, student, and apprentice. It is about walking together with our neighbor. It is about listening and learning. It is about following. It is about “being” rather than “doing.” To live a missional accompaniment ecclesiology is to walk in solidarity and interdependence with all people regardless of race, gender, class, age, etc.

What must we do? We must walk together. We must remain faithful. We must pray. We must discern. We must be disciples, students, and apprentices. We must walk together with our neighbor. We must listen and learn. We must follow. We must be rather than do. We must encourage each other. We must participate in mission with our neighbors and not to our neighbors. We must build relationships. We must recognize the vulnerability of the neighbor and be vulnerable with the neighbor. We must equip the saints and embed mission in ongoing relationships and community. We must live into a subject-subject relationship.

As Lutherans we believe we are saved by grace though faith as a gift from God. This theology acknowledges that our works do not justify, but rather it is God who justifies by grace. Although our works do not justify, we are, however called to live an externally honorable life. Luther argues that Christians are free from trying to justify themselves through works, and we are free to love and serve our neighbor. Luther coined the term Theology of the Cross to describe this theology of how God saves. According to Gerhard Forde, “Becoming a theologian of the cross involves turning to face the problems, joys, and sorrows of everyday life.”

What must we do? We must turn and face the problems, joys, and sorrows of everyday life in our community. We must see poverty and call it what it actually is. We must see suffering and call it what it actually is. We must see the cross and call it what it actually is. We must see what God has done and continues to do in and through the congregation and community. As theologians of the cross, we are vessels of grace. We are called to serve our neighbor and face the problems, joys, and sorrows of everyday life. We are free from trying to justify ourselves, and free to be, free to participate in the mission of God.

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