The 47th Annual LWMS Convention was opened by President Paula Danekas. President Danekas asked the Lord to bless the convention and show us how to serve. She then announced the majestic procession of flags.
OPENING WORSHIP SERVICE
LWMS Pastoral Advisor Douglas Tomhave served as the liturgist. Pastor Jonathan Rockhoff of Wichita, Kansas, and Nebraska District Mission Board Chairman, preached the sermon, using Psalm 25:1-7
as his text.
Pastor Rockhoff opened by asking the question, "Why are you here?" Some would answer that they never miss an LWMS convention; others would say they came because they were curious or maybe someone twisted their arm! He really meant, "Why are you still on earth?" The answer is twofold, first to believe in your Lord and Savior and then to tell others about him.
Through LWMS we gather together to connect to the rest of the world. The convention passage is Psalm 25:4
, "Show me your ways, O Lord."
The Lord does show us how to keep connected to his Word and the world. Pastor Rockhoff used a unique analogy to describe our connection.
In the hot Kansas summers it is necessary to water a lawn for it to survive. Not having an underground sprinkler system Pastor Rockhoff uses lawn equipment a faucet, hose, and sprinkler. He even moves his sprinklers around to water the entire lawn. The faucet pours out water, the hose must be firmly attached to carry the water, and the sprinkler spreads the water over the lawn.
We are like the hose. We must be firmly connected to the faucet of God's powerful Word, or we are useless. Like a hose, if we become detached from the faucet of God's Word we can become cracked and useless or our busy schedules can cause us to be kinked and ineffective. We might then be like Jonah and not want do the job or like Moses and think that we can't speak and do the job.
We need to keep our connection to the Holy Spirit. We are strengthened by regular attendance at Sunday worship services and Bible studies and through family devotions.
The sprinkler hits a lot of area and just like us there are many sizes, shapes and colors. We are sprinklers when we share the hope we have in God's Word with our lost and hurting friends and acquaintances. But we are also [hoses] connected to those [sprinklers] who go places we can't go, who sprinkle the world with God's Word on our behalf-our missionaries. We support them with our encouragement, through our prayers, and by our mission offerings. Many mission fields are ready to go but we don't have the finances to open a mission or give a seminary graduate a call. But we do
have the money. Just look at our lifestyle, the things we possess, or our savings accounts. As leaders LWMS women need to talk to their husbands, families, and churches about how money is used. We need to pray for missions, missionaries, and for new missions to open. We should not give up. The Lord has promised that his Word will not come back to him empty. He will bless his Word as we water the world.
In closing, remember that there are three important instruments. The faucet of God's Word
to be connected to the hose
transporter to the world that ties into the sprinkler
so many people can help spread the Word. It is wonderful work with guaranteed results, and work that will never be in vain.