Today’s Reading: Matthew 24:42-47
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” (Matthew 24:45,46)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. After Jesus rose from the dead, the apostles went out into the world — faithfully preaching, teaching, baptizing, and witnessing to His resurrection. But because they would not be here on earth forever, they wrote down their witness about Christ, which we have in the New Testament. They also took up the work of training pastors so they could continue to preach Christ, baptize, and teach the Scriptures to those in their care.
It’s likely that all the apostles participated in training up pastors in whatever places Christ sent them, but they didn’t write about how they did it – except for St. Paul. His letters to Timothy and Titus are known as the Pastoral Epistles because he writes to them about how they should serve as pastors and how they should train up new pastors. These letters continue to shape how new pastors are trained to this day.
On January 24, 25, and 26 the Church celebrates how Christ established and sustains the office of the Holy Ministry by remembering St Timothy, St Paul and then St Titus. The day for St Paul stands between those of the two early pastors to remind us how Paul faithfully trained them to serve. These three days remind us that it is dear to Jesus Himself that new generations of pastors and servants in the Church are trained to bring the Gospel and Sacraments to all nations until the Last Day.
Jesus calls you to help with this work too: Consider whether you have the gifts to train to serve as a pastor, teacher, or deaconess. Encourage your friends or family members who might have these gifts to pray about faithfully serving. Support the work of our Concordia universities and seminaries with your prayers and offerings. Share encouragement and pray for those who are already serving as pastors, teachers, deaconesses, and lay leaders in your congregation.
We give thanks to God that He sent Timothy to serve as a faithful pastor and confessor of Christ and that He has continued to provide shepherds to serve His flock through the ages. Pray God to raise up more men to serve as pastors and for dedicated men and women to serve as teachers and deaconesses and lay leaders in the Church, here and around the world. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
“God of the prophets, bless the prophets’ sons; Elijah’s mantle o’er Elisha cast. Each age its solemn task may claim but once; Make each one nobler, stronger than the last.” (LSB 682 vs 1)
-Pastor Jeffrey Horn is Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA,
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.