Friday afternoon I attended the Missionary Sending Service at the LCMS International Center Chapel. The occasion was the sending out of 34 missionaries, some career, some shorter-term. The missionaries had just completed ten days of orientation and training, with a strong emphasis on study of the Book of Acts and the Catechism. Now they are being sent out by our synod to sixteen countries, in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
President Harrison’s sermon was based on Acts 2:42, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.” It was this sort of vibrant church that was missional, that bore witness to the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ, as Peter’s Pentecost sermon demonstrates. “Only Jesus”: That was the church’s life, that was the church’s witness. The missionaries are going out to establish beachheads for the gospel. Harrison assured the missionaries that even as they are sent out, they remain a part of our life together: “If you stub your toe in Timbuktu, we will feel it here in St. Louis.”
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