Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. (Table of Duties, What Hearers Owe Their Pastors: 1 Timothy 5:17)
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen. The Lord has placed under-shepherds to tend His flock and to labor in the harvest. Alone this is a humanly impossible task! Who could ever use their own voice to call in the sheep when they stray? Who could ever produce enough food that all the sheep might eat and be full? What sinful man could ever wash the sheep clean that their wool would shine like the sun? No shepherd under His own authority could ever do these things! If the Holy Church of Christ was left alone in the hands of men it would fall quicker than Babel.
Thankfully God doesn' t leave His church to sojourn alone in the wilderness to die, but rather grows it through His Most Holy Word! Jesus teaches us in Matthew that, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." This is what the under- shepherd, your pastor, speaks! Your pastor speaks God' s perfect Word to convict and forgive us! The Pastor administers God' s word to both feed us and wash us clean in Christ' s Sacraments!
May we continuously hear the voice of our Lord through the mouth of our pastors! May we continuously look upon them as our caregivers through the Gospel and give them honor as is right according to Scripture. Let us give thanks to the Great Shepherd for sending the faithful to serve His people. Amen.
Almighty and gracious God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you have commanded us to pray that you would send forth laborers into your harvest. Of your infinite mercy give us true teachers and ministers of your word who truly fulfill your command and preach nothing contrary to your holy word. Grant that we being warned, instructed, nurtured, comforted, and strengthened by your holy word, may do those things which are well pleasing to you and profitable for our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Collect for the Increase of the Holy Ministry)
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Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.