This is a new image that has appeared over the last several days as the LCMS has installed Matthew Harrison as its newest President. A short meaning of the theme is set forth at the ABC3s of Miscellany Blog. Thanks to Pr. Paul McCain atCyberbrethren for pointing this out.
“Since the end of the Synod Convention in July 2010, President Harrison and his team have been working hard on how to categorize the work of the Synod — Congregations, Districts, and International Center — in light of the restructuring. Today, at the LCMS Board and Commission Orientation, “Witness, Mercy, and Life Together” was presented as a way to describe the work of the Synod using Biblical categories and themes. Witness, Mercy, and Life Together is the English phrase chosen for the Greek words Martyría, Diakonía, and Koinōnía. These activities describe the work of the church and are centered on the cross of Jesus. Martyría describes the witness, proclamation work (missions) of the church. Diakonía describes the church’s work as a servant of mercy to those in need (human care). Koinōnía describes the church’s life together with all its accompanying activities such as worship, schools, seminaries, church relations, et al. There are over 200 passages in the New Testament that use these words to describe the church’s work, not including synonyms and other words within the same semantic domain. Just as a start you might want to look up1 John 5:7 – 8 (Witness), Mark 10:45 (Mercy), and 1 Corinthians 1:9(Life Together).” Director of Church Relations, Rev. Dr. Al Collver. Dr. Collver explains that this is a “brief glimpse” of the theme which was used for the LCMS Board and Commission’s orientation recently. A fuller explanation and development of the theme will be coming from President Harrison and his staff in the upcoming months.
For our purposes on Wednesday, we can examine the Witness aspect of Mark 10:45 as we ought to cover it in class.