God’s unconditional, all-embracing, unwavering, never-ending love was the uplifting message of the opening worship of the Eighteenth General Convention of Synod of the Lutheran Church of Australia.
More than 700 people gathered for last night’s celebratory service held at Redeemer Lutheran College, Rochedale, Queensland.
Featuring sacred dance and with rousing songs and hymns led by a band and a choir, it was a fitting beginning to the triennial event, which runs until Sunday morning.
The service was streamed live to a potential worldwide congregation via the internet – a first for an LCA Convention.
In another distinctive and moving element, local children led the church’s bishops into the college chapel, followed by a remembrance of baptism in which each bishop/child pair signed each other’s forehead with water from the font.
In a rite designed especially for convention, the 1 click here to find out more.1m high Christ Candle was lit. It represents God’s gift of salvation and will burn throughout Convention as a symbol of the church’s unity in Jesus. From Wednesday morning, it will stand at the front in the business hall.
Preaching on Ephesians 1:17-18, LCA Bishop John Henderson reminded those gathered and those watching from further afield online, that God, our Father, loves us, that we can do nothing to earn his love, and that we are free because of that love.
He used the text – St Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian Christians of his day – as words of encouragement for the delegates and visitors:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…
Bishop Henderson also prayed that the business of Convention would be undertaken in the right spirit – that of unity and mutual respect.
‘Make us ready to listen, slow to criticise, and willing to cooperate with each other, so that we may promote the unity which you have given us’, he prayed.
The Convention is being held under the theme – and the LCA’s tagline – Where Love Comes to Life.