About our Father’s business

About our Father’s business

Mark G. Schroeder

It happens every two years. Four hundred people from all over the country, and some from overseas, travel to one of our synodical schools. They are farmers and factory workers, accountants and architects, pastors and teachers. The group includes millennials and retirees, and every age in between. It’s a diverse crowd to be sure, but one whose members have several important things in common. They have faith in their Savior. They are committed to carrying out his mission. And they have the trust of those who have asked them to represent them.

I’m referring, of course, to the biennial convention of our synod. It will take place at the end of July at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Mich. There, convention delegates will gather to worship, to engage in brotherly debate, to hold elections, and to make prayerful decisions that will shape the nature and direction of the work that we do together as a synod.

Some have jokingly observed that the best conventions are boring conventions. That observation is not meant to imply that any convention is truly boring. There can be no boredom as the four hundred delegates gather for the opening service—a worship service so moving that no one who attends ever forgets it. There can be no real boredom when the reports of God’s abundant blessings on our ministries are shared with the delegates and certainly no boredom upon hearing the exciting opportunities that God continues to give to us.

Who could be bored when hearing personal accounts of missionaries serving in faraway places, as they share the stories of people from every tribe, language, and nation brought into God’s kingdom by the power of Word and sacrament? How could it ever be boring to hear how God uses weak and sinful people like us to be his workers and witnesses, united in a common faith and joined in a common mission? These things are evident at every convention, and they combine to make boredom impossible.

Sometimes no major issues threaten to fracture our unity; no huge problems face us that cause us to lose sleep at night and worry for the future of the synod. Some conventions feature no floor debates that cause delegates to lash out in anger, frustration, or bitterness. If that is what is meant by boring, then it’s true that the best convention is a boring convention. We can pray for that kind of boredom.

So in July we will gather again around God’s Word and in his name for another convention. But it’s not just a meeting. There we will elect those who will serve on our behalf. We will adopt a ministry financial plan (budget) that outlines how we will use the resources that God makes available to us. We will make decisions and pass resolutions. We will hear reports of the gospel being proclaimed and the Spirit

at work. There we will pray that God would keep us faithful to his Word and that he would bless the work we do in his name. And as the delegates are about their Father’s business, fellow believers will be praying that God would grant delegates wisdom and courage.

Anything but boring, this convention promises, like all previous conventions, to be an opportunity to marvel at God’s continuing grace and love for his church.

The synod convention takes place July 27–30. Follow convention coverage that week at www.wels.net.

 

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Author: Mark G. Schroeder
Volume 102, Number 7
Issue: July 2015

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