By Megan Mertz
ST. LOUIS (July 25, 2013) — The final day of the 65th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began today with the service of Matins and singing of the hymn “We Are Called to Stand Together” (LSB 828).
During the service, delegates, staff and visitors were invited to meditate on the text of Matt. 28:16–20, which ends with the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations.
“We are here to receive and respond to this powerful word of Jesus once again, to be challenged and comforted by these words of our Lord, so that when we go from this assembly in a few hours, the Holy Spirit will use us to make new disciples by baptizing, baptizing and baptizing, teaching, teaching and teaching,” said the Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen, preacher for the service and professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Gieschen reminded those gathered at the America’s Center Convention Complex of the grace they received in Baptism, saying, “When you are joined to Jesus in Baptism, you do not just receive a bit of His authority, a bit of His righteousness, a bit of His forgiveness, a bit of His life. You receive it all.”
“All of this should lead us to have a passionate concern for those who are unbaptized or who have rejected the grace of His Baptism. The unbaptized are all around us, wherever we live,” he continued.
The Rev. William Weedon, LCMS International Center chaplain and director of Worship, served as liturgist; Phillip Magness of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Broken Arrow, Okla., served as cantor; the Rev. Jon Vieker, senior assistant to the LCMS president, played the organ; and Matthew Janssen and Sarah Kirkman provided additional accompaniment.