Psalm 61:3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

We stand for Rightly Called Ministers!

You have a divine call.  That may not be what you have been told, but God Himself has called you in an objective and verifiable way to serve your neighbor.

Do you have parents?  Then you are called to be a child.  Are you married?  You are called to be a spouse.  Are you baptized?  Then you are called to be a child of God.

These are not small callings.  They are not unimportant.  In fact, they are of primal importance.  We encounter great difficulty when we begin to despise and reject our divine callings.

Take, for example, a woman who is married and has 2 children at home.  Perhaps, given our current cultural setting, she might begin to feel that she needed to “contribute to society”.  She might feel pressure to use her college education in the marketplace.  So she obtains a job in a firm and works outside the home 40 hours a week.

What is wrong with this picture?  She has left her divine calling to care for her children in order to do something else, something far less important.

Do not misunderstand me.  I have no wish to see women “bare-footed and in the kitchen”.  Women have every right to obtain employment outside of the home.  Sometimes I believe they even have that responsibility.

The problem comes from this particular wife and mother seeing her calling from God to be a wife and mother as less important than whatever she might do in the market place.  If you are a mother remember this: there is not job on this earth, not even being president of the United States, that is more important, more valuable, than caring for your children.

A similar point can be made with respect to our lives within a congregation.  Each person in the Church has a divine calling, either to be a pastor or to be a priest (in the priesthood of all believers).  If you are baptized you have been called by God to part of His royal priesthood. 

In addition to this God, through the Church, calls men to be pastors, shepherds of the flock, overseers of the priesthood.  If you are a pastor, you have a unique divine call to proclaim and teach the Gospel, to steward the Sacraments, to carry out the public functions of the Church.

If you are a priest, you have a divine calling to be a living sacrifice to the Lord (Romans 12), to hear and receive the Gospel from your pastor and to take that Gospel with you into your daily callings at home and in the marketplace. 

And this really is a great protection for the congregation.  No man (or woman) has a right to show up at your church next week declaring that God told them in a vision that they were your new pastor, just like you would not tolerate some random man showing up at your home and declaring that he would now be your husband!  Rather God works through His Church to train men and to place them into congregations.

Just as God works through cultural rituals and wedding services to draw men and women into marriage, so He uses a proper system to train men to be shepherds of the flock of God.  And these men have the full time responsibility to make known the unsearchable riches of God’s mercy in Jesus Christ!  What a blessing to have rightly called ministers.

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