It's hard not to be discouraged in the Church Militant. Especially here in our little corner of North American Lutheranism. Horror stories abound. But we should also remind ourselves of the good things.
In a couple days, Dv, I'll be heading down to the SID district convention. This time around the convention is being built around the Daily Office rather than just being peppered with silly "devotions." There will also be a chapel set aside for prayer with various pastors scheduled to be in there to hear confession and pronounce absolution - 5.5 hours' worth of this scheduled C&A time over the course of the convention.
The DP (Fr. Timothy Scharr) and his chaplain (the dexterous and melodic Rev. Dr. Fritz Baue) have decided that a convention should be a Church gathering with business on the side rather than a business meeting with Church on the side.
The Confessional movement within Missouri has been a bottom up effort powered by pastors teaching the Word of God to their flocks. In pockets here and there this bottom up effort has led to top down results: after decades of work, enough parishes and enough pastors are interested in being Lutheran that now, in several places around the Synod, the Districts themselves are being guided in that direction by men who have arisen from below through this Confessional movement.
So if you are one the men who have been working for decades for this to occur: thank you. Your efforts have not been in vain. And while we always bear a cross, the Lord also promises us blessings through those crosses. The crosses you have borne have made our Synod a better, more Lutheran, more godly place. Everything is far from perfect, but there is plenty of evidence that things are, in fact, improving.