By Jeni Miller
ST. LOUIS (July 22, 2013) — Preaching on 1 Peter 2:9-10, the Rev. Gregory Seltz, speaker of “The Lutheran Hour,” declared to worshippers on Monday afternoon that they, as a church, are baptized for this moment to witness to those in a weary world.
“Would you agree with me that we live in a weary world?” asked Seltz. “It’s not just the church that is weary; it is people who are weary in this world. This is the weary world that we live in. But we’re baptized people of God, so we say: this is the world in which we are alive.”
Connecting the baptismal life to the charge to share the Gospel, Seltz continued, “We are alive in this world. Baptism has poured out God’s grace into our lives – we are washed clean to witness to a weary, even wearied, world.”
Referencing a Rascal Flatts video, Seltz explained that Lutherans deeply understand not only the image of someone being pulled out of the water, but the good news that the Gospel comes to meet sinners where they are, through Word and water, bread and wine.
Later, Seltz emphasized not only the necessity of refreshment through remembrance of Baptism, but the call for all Christians to point others to Christ in water and Word. He elaborated, “Don’t be fooled by the bravado of the world. Be people who are ready to be washed witnesses to weary folks. What they need is the refreshment of knowing Jesus Christ, baptized into His name.” Seltz concluded by noting that the refreshment of Christ is a “joy that is beyond mere happiness.”
The Rev. Benjamin Ball of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel, Ill., served again as liturgist, and Cantor Phillip Magness of Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Tinley Park, Ill., was pianist. Also offering the gift of music was Monique Nunes, who served as vocalist for both a pre-service Gathering Song and a musical rendition of Psalm 65:1-8.
The 65th Regular Convention of the LCMS is meeting July 20-25 at the America’s Center Convention Complex under the theme “Baptized for This Moment.” Among convention participants are some 1,200 clergy and lay voting delegates.