Synod News


‘We meet in the name of the worker of miracles’

Bishop Paul Smith tonight reminded those gathered in Melbourne at the LCANZ Convention of General Synod that they are meeting in the name of the worker of miracles – Jesus Christ.

Preaching at the gathering service of the 2021–2023 Convention’s in-person sessions, Bishop Paul encouraged the hundreds of delegates, officials, organisers and volunteers present by reflecting on the account of the miracle of the feeding of the 5000-plus in Matthew 14:13–21.

‘There is certainly something good and helpful for us here; something to tune into; something to guide us as God’s people as we step forward in faith seeking God’s good and gracious will for his church’, Bishop Paul said.

‘This story will prompt us to anticipate the hand of God working miracles far beyond anything we could ask or think of. Of course, this message is not just for the work of the church for those gathered for the Convention of General Synod, but for all of us in our walk by faith in the name of Jesus …

‘We often wonder where we are going as church. The women and men of the church regularly have difficult issues to talk about. When the church gathers for a convention, there are always proposals to consider; for we have a mission to serve. This is not our church. This is the church of Jesus Christ; the worker of miracles, and we gather in his name; the name of the one who worked the miracle of abundance in the loaves and fishes.

‘The greatest abundance for us, is what was wrought through the death of Christ on the cross … At the heart of our Lutheran witness is the central doctrine of justification, teaching the sufficiency of the work of the cross … In this gracious act, he freely and graciously exchanges our sin with his righteousness …

‘We call this the great exchange: the good news that we know as the gospel …

‘This miracle of the loaves and fishes is not about the number 5000. The scripture even reminds us that this number is “not counting women and children”, so the number was much more than 5000 …

‘Rather, the miracle of the loaves and fishes is about the unending compassion of our God, which can never be quantified. The compassion of God was made sure for all time, in the work of the cross of Christ Jesus.

‘This is the light of God shining in the darkness of human reason …

‘The compassion of God that is revealed to us in the work of the cross, is the light of the gospel for darkened minds … Setting a bright path to follow.

‘So, as God’s people, living as children of the light, we pray, “Lord, show us what is good and right and true – what is pleasing you – for we gather in your name”.’

The in-person sessions of the 20th Convention of General Synod are being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, with two full days of business being bookended by the gathering worship service tonight, and the closing worship service on Sunday 12 February.



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