Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (Table of Duties, What Hearers Owe Their Pastors : Galatians 6:6-7)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do you have a job? What do you spend your money on? Gas for the car? Pizza with friends. Some new clothes or some music downloads? How about your pastor? Do you give him anything? Oh, maybe not directly. But of the money you have been given through work or elsewhere, do you support the work of your pastor by putting some in the offering plate?
When we put an offering in the plate at church, we're not "giving it back to God" or giving it to Him at all. What does the Lord need with money? Rather, what goes in the offering goes first and foremost to care for the pastor and his family and then the other bills of the church.
Why does your pastor need to be provided for? So he can spend all his time taking care of you and the rest of the Lord's flock. The Lord's gift through your pastor is that there is always someone to forgive you your sins, preach and teach God's Word to you and take care of you with the comfort of Christ in any situation.
Jesus died for your sins and rose again from the dead. The means by which He delivers that forgiveness to you is the water of Holy Baptism, the preaching and teaching of the Word and absolution, and the Supper of Christ's body and blood. And the person He gives you to give you those gifts is your pastor.
Your pastor isn't just there for Sunday morning, but for your whole life. He's there when you are sick. He's there when you have questions about God's Word. He's there when your sins trouble you. He's there when you are to be married and when you have children and when the time comes that you will die. Through this flesh and blood pastor, Jesus Himself is caring for you.
Therefore the apostle reminds us that when we "sow" for the Gospel, that is, support our pastors who care for us, brings us the joy of knowing there is one to care for us with Christ's gifts. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Help, Lord Jesus, help him nourish All our children with Your Word That in fervent love they serve You Till in heav'n their song is heard. Boundless blessings, Lord, bestow On his faithful toil below Till by grace to him be given His reward, the crown of heaven. (LSB 681:3)
Registration for the 2013 Higher Things Conferences, From Above, is now open! Register today at fromabove2013.org.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.