Today is the two-year anniversary of my ordination into the Office of the Holy Ministry. What a two years it has been! A little over six years ago Katie and I moved to Fort Wayne on a grand adventure, not knowing at all what to expect. Three years ago, we were greatly surprised to hear “Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Dallas, TX” read off following my name at the vicarage assignment service. While the next spring it wasn’t so much a surprise, it was still a great blessing and gift from the Lord to hear those same words announcing my Divine Call to serve the precious lambs of Jesus at that same congregation.
Today, amidst some pastoral phone calls, a hospital visit, the Supper with shut-ins, and other various tasks, I sat down and read through the ordination rite in the LSB Agenda again. There’s a little bit of ceremony there, but most of it is blessed Scripture – the Lord’s Word to His people regarding the institution, responsibilities, and promises of the pastoral office.
Regarding the institution:
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when he had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:21-23)
Regarding the responsibilities:
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)
Regarding the strength and promise:
Continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
I am thankful to God that He has seen fit to make me a pastor in His Church. What a blessed gift He has given me! Praise be to God that He sees fit to send to us, on the lips of weak men, His Gospel of Christ Jesus – who is certainly no weak man but is instead the victor over sin, death, and the devil.