“I belong to Christ, and you belong to Christ, and together, we get to march in the parade led by the Holy Spirit,” said Rev. Lydia Posselt from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who offered Lutherans from around the world a message of hope in her sermon at the closing worship of the Twelfth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
“This parade leads us out into the world, out to our neighbors, where the fruits of our freedom in Christ are given away to others, not hoarded or stored up for our own benefit.”
The Twelfth Assembly took place in Windhoek, Namibia from 10-16 May. It brought together 800 participants from LWF member churches to worship, discern and decide together under the theme “Liberated by God’s Grace.” They prayed and sang at the closing worship to the rhythm of Namibian drums and harmonious voices from around the world, liberated by that spirit.
Council member, Church of Sweden Archbishop Dr. Antje Jackelén, presided in the closing worship.
“Marching where we are needed”
The 32-year old Posselt was the winner of the Assembly preaching contest. To honor the legacy of Martin Luther, who himself was only 33 years old when he published his 95 theses in Wittenberg, young pastors of the communion were invited to supply a sermon for the closing worship.
She identified the journey and tasks ahead for the Assembly participants:
“Guided by the Spirit, we are marching exactly where we are needed, straight into a world that is suffering and in pain. We are marching toward into a future we can’t clearly see yet but includes the healing of the nations, the reconciling of differences, the inclusion of the excluded, and the freedom of those who have so long been in bondage, including ourselves. As we separate, we will march back to our home countries and hometowns, but together we will all be marching in the light of God.”