Posts Tagged ‘gatherings’

Synods: On a journey together.

These next two days a few friends of mine and I will be blogging from the general assembly of the Eastern Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa. A Synod for those who do not know this term, as I said, is a bigger general assembly of spiritual leaders (ministers/reverends and elders) of congregations, in this case of the denomination of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, and specifically its Eastern Transvaal Province. The word Synod is derived from the Greek noun σύνοδος (Lust, Eynikel & Hauspie) and can refer to an assembly, a meeting or even a conspiracy.
What is probably more noteworthy is that in the New Testament two derivatives of this noun is used:
1. συνοδία is a noun referring to a group of people traveling together, a caravan (Louw & Nida).
2. συνοδεύω is a verb referring to the process of travelling together (Louw & Nida).
Maybe one should combine these three concepts when one refers to a Synod. Is a Synod not more than just an assembly? Should it not be viewed as a group of people coming together on a common journey, rather than a sitting of people doing just that, sitting together.
It is the difference at times between Christians staying at one station in life versus moving forward together. It is a caravan of people moving to new destinations, like the nomads we are in this world. We find places to put up our tents in this world. The difference would be that as a caravan we do not journey only to the Oases of rest and rejuvenation, where we find rest. But we also travel to the dessert, where we are to become an Oasis, where other can find rest in the bubbling fountain of life (John 4:14).