By Jeni Miller
ST. LOUIS (July 23, 2013) — In a brief sermon, the Rev. Alexey Streltsov, rector of Lutheran Theological Seminary in the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church, preached to convention attendees on Titus 3:4-8, focusing on the mercy that is received by God in Baptism and then shown forth to others. “We are saved by mercy, which is not just a figure of speech,” said Streltsov. “These are not just abstract categories – we are talking about Christ, received in Baptism.”
Streltsov continued, “We Lutherans are fond of saying from what we’re saved. But sometimes it’s profitable to say for what we’re saved. The beauty of the Christian life is it is a life lived for others. A life of mercy.”
Streltsov then encouraged those assembled, saying, “Stay firm in Baptism, which has forever united us with Jesus.”
Midday Prayer is offered as a way for the convention to come together as one baptized body to offer prayer and thanksgiving to God and receive refreshment from His Word before returning to the afternoon’s business.
“The canonical form of prayer that was developed over many years marked prayer about every three hours,” said the Rev. William C. Weedon, director of worship for the Synod and chaplain of the LCMS International Center. “Those services, like our Midday Prayer, mostly feature very brief little orders that have a hymn, a reading, and for us this week, a sermon, and then the prayer section which is basically a Litany form, back and forth between the presider and the people.”
Weedon was liturgist, and Cantor Phillip Magness of Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Tinley Park, Ill., served as organist and pianist. Additional music was offered by the Perry County Lutheran Chorale directed by Tyson Wunderlich, with Janet Seibel serving as accompanist and Jacquelyn Kiefner playing flute. The service was enhanced by the musical offerings of an instrumental quartet: Matthew Janssen, Kyle Hopfer, Nathan McCord and Josh Siems.
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.