Posts tagged “Office of the Ministry

Sermo Dei: Fifth Sunday after Trinity and the Ordination of Noah Rogness

Posted on June 27th, 2016

June 26, 2016 Luke 5:1-11 I think my first conversation with Pastor-elect Rogness was down on the blacktop at Oktoberfest. Imagine my surprise when I find out we both grew up in the same neighborhood: Hopkins, MN, a working-class suburb of Minneapolis. The memory of that place, as it was in the 1970’s, is a happy one; life was simple – for me. But not for my dad. I will forever associate the smell of oil, grease, and sawdust with him, and with how hard he worked. My dad worked with trees: trimming, topping, or cutting them down and removing the stumps. He was up early in the morning, hours before me, and in the summer would work for as long as there was…

Sermo Dei: Fourth Sunday after Trinity and the Ordination of Jonathan Scheck

Posted on June 19th, 2016

Text: Genesis 50:15-21 Parents are not supposed to have favorites. But this father did. He loved his boy Joseph above all the others. He had children by three other women, but this was the firstborn of Rachel, his favorite. So his favorite son came from his favorite wife. None of this is how it was supposed to be, none of this is how God designed the human family – but the Bible does not shy away from showing us the consequences of sin. So this son, Joseph, knew he was special. He had dreams about his specialness, and was foolish enough to share his dreams with his brothers, dreams about how they one day would bow down before him. So they decided to kill…

Sermo Dei: Ordination of Eric Phillips

Posted on June 4th, 2014

The Ordination of Eric Phillips Isaiah 40:6; John 21:15 Concordia Lutheran Church, Nashville, TN June 1, 2014 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. “What’s he like?” That’s what many of you are wondering about this man whom God has sent to be your pastor. It’s a natural question to ask – and I’ll tell you a little about him in a minute. But first you need to know that, while it’s a normal question—and one I’d be asking too—it’s not really all that important. This question—“What’s he like, this new pastor?”—can even be a dangerous question. Because if things go well, you—or your pastor—can start to chalk it up to his hard work, intelligence, or personality.…

Encouragement for preachers

Posted on October 10th, 2013

The following bit from Luther is simple; nevertheless I was encouraged by it. I hope the pastors out there will also be encouraged. Whoever has taken on the office of a preacher must be aware that the Devil and the World will unceasingly attack you. If you speak the truth, then the World will become confused and stupid.… If you feel you are suffering from [the Devil’s] attack and the World is cursing you, persecuting you, taunting you and ridiculing you and in addition if the Devil is afflicting you – what should you do? Should you become impatient, give up the office of a preacher, run away from this calling and start cursing? No, certainly not – you should instead be patient, wait…

Cynicism and the Pastoral Office

Posted on July 22nd, 2013

Another great passage from Wengert, also courtesy of Pr David Juhl: Frankly, we need to treat these public servants with more respect. For example, the mistreatment of pastors throughout the church is simply a travesty. Congregations and individual members seem to think that it is open season on any public servant of the gospel who does not do what he…is told or who does not fulfill the needs of this or that individual. So many pastors have simply become cynical – witness the number who, when meeting a potential public minister (a seminarian, intern, ordinand, or even just someone who expresses an interest in becoming a pastor or rostered leader in the church), will make a joke demeaning the office or roll their eyes and…

[Sermo Dei] The Installation of Charles Louis McClean (John 20:19-23)

Posted on May 6th, 2013

The Words of our Savior to the ministers He appointed to care for His Church: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Charles McClean is my friend. He has been a great help to me, laboring at my side at Immanuel these past years. He has great knowledge of our church’s doctrine, history, and liturgy. But there’s one thing that you need to know about him: Charles McClean is a great sinner. He will not save this church. But through the unmerited gift of God, Our Saviour Lutheran Church already received a Savior long ago. Charles McClean is a great sinner. He will not save this church. But he will…

Noah the Bishop

Posted on February 18th, 2012

Luther on Genesis 9: In the first place, Noah filled the office of bishop; and because he had been plagued by various temptations, it was his foremost concern to oppose the devil and comfort the tempted, to restore the erring, to give confidence to the wavering, to encourage the despairing, to shut out the impenitent from his church, and to receive back the penitent with fatherly joy. These are almost the same duties that must be performed by a bishop through the ministry of the Word.

The dark underbelly of the Hosanna-Tabor v EEOC case

Posted on January 17th, 2012

Among Christians in general, and LCMS insiders in particular, there has been great rejoicing over the Hosanna-Tabor v EEOC case. While glad for a clear victory for religious liberty, and the right of churches to choose their ministers, the outcome bothered me for a variety of reasons. I hadn’t shared that dismay too widely, but was delighted to hear Todd Wilken on the Issues, Etc. radio program voice his concerns with his usual concision and passion. A summary: The case demonstrates deep problems in the LCMS dispute resolution process It weakens the status of church employees in the LCMS The church shows an inability to admit any fault, instead hiding behind lawyers and the courts The church shows it is inclined not to care…