Today is the birthday of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (except that was not its original name). First of all, let me say that Perry County is not where the Missouri Synod started. In fact, you could argue that many folks in Perry County fought against the formation of a synod, and there are no churches that are charter members of the synod in Perry County. However, the story of the LCMS’s beginning and the story of the immigration into Perry County contains many intersections, and we would love to have you visit Altenburg so we can share them with you.
One of the goals of the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum is to keep a story. It is the story of the German immigration to America by hundreds of Lutherans which took place here over 175 years ago. It is our responsibility to be caretakers of that story. We want to preserve that story, and make sure the details of the story are accurately maintained. However, it would really do no good if that story is not also told. We must be tellers of the story, so that the story can still have impact on people today. We feel this story contains many lessons which are still useful for individuals and for the church. So we keep that story, and we tell that story. We would love to have you come to our museum so we can tell it to you.
The same can be said for all Christians. All Christians have a story to preserve. It is the story contained within the pages of our Bible. It is the story of our salvation. As Christians and as Christian churches, it is important for us to maintain that story. We must make sure it is accurate. We must not take anything away from God’s Word, nor should we add anything to it. But just as it is with our museum’s story, the story of salvation must be told. It matters. There are way too many people who do not know the story of their own salvation. They do not know the way to life after death. They must hear that story proclaimed, and we are the ones to tell it. Jesus commissioned us to do just that.
What an honor it is for us at the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum to keep and tell our story, and what an honor it is for us to help our God get his message to the world. We celebrate today the birthday of our synod. May the LCMS continue to proclaim the Gospel faithfully.