In the Lutheran Church, we have a yearly ritual called the annual meeting. At Trinity Lutheran Church that event takes place this week. These annual meetings aren't necessarily the most exciting thing that we do as a congregation, but it is an important exercise for us. At our annual meeting we look to the past and set our mission plans for the future.
As Christian individuals, maybe that should become an important ritual for us to complete every year. It is a good discipline for us to look back over the past year and take an inventory of how we have lived our lives in the name of Jesus. It is good to take stock of not only the highlights such as our worship attendance or Bible study, or our prayer life, but also to examine where we have fallen short. When were those times where we failed to love God above all things and love our neighbor as ourselves? We can learn a lot by looking at those lost opportunities.
But we cannot dwell on the past. It is important for us to plan for our future mission as well. How can we go about serving God in new and better ways for the coming year? What is our individual mission plan? Can we get involved in our congregational activities to a greater degree? Can we volunteer in our community to help with schools or youth programs? Can we find ways to give to the food pantry? Can we pray for peace?
The opportunities in Vermillion are too numerous to list them all. But I would encourage every one of you to have your own private "congregational meeting" to find ways to serve our Lord by serving others. What is your mission plan in 2006?