Reflections: Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

Today’s Reading: Table of Duties: To Hearers

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 24:1-13; 1 John 1:1-2:14

“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” – Hebrews 13:17 Table of Duties: What the Hearers Owe Their Pastors

You know the Third Commandment, right? You keep it every time you enter the sanctuary, right? Sadly, we do not. We do not always hold God’s Word sacred and gladly hear and learn it, do we? That is what Luther says we should do. We should want to hear God’s Word of salvation for us. That is what your pastor is there for, to proclaim to you God’s salvation won for you by Jesus Christ. 

Stop and listen to the words that he speaks: “…in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ…” The words that he is about to speak are not his words but God’s words. In fact, everything that your pastor speaks comes from God. They tell you what God has already said and declared about you. Your pastor has your best interests at heart, that is, you hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, repent of your sins, and be saved. 

How should we listen to our pastors? We obey them because they are our God-sent pastors who are charged with proclaiming both Law and Gospel to us, absolving us from our sins, and feeding us Christ’s body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. They do this because God has called them to the Office of Holy Ministry to bring and declare God’s gifts to His people. This task is not taken lightly by them, for they must give an account to God of their actions. 

We do not want to be a burden on our pastors. We want to make their vocation as easy as possible, even though pastoral ministry is often anything but easy. Just as preaching the Gospel is a good and noble task, so is hearing that Gospel as it is preached to us and placed into our mouths. Bring a smile to your pastor’s face by telling him you’ll be there Sunday and every Sunday after that, receiving the gifts which God delivers through your called and ordained servant of the Word. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O holy and most merciful God, You have taught us the way of Your commandments. We implore You to pour out Your grace into our hearts. Cause it to bear fruit in us that, being ever mindful of Your mercies and Your laws, we may always be directed to Your will and daily increase in love toward You and one another. Enable us to resist all evil and to live a godly life. Help us to follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to walk in His steps until we shall possess the kingdom that has been prepared for us in heaven; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (Collect for Obedience to the Word)

– Pastor Jared Tucher serves the dual-parish of St. John – Farmer’s Retreat in Dillsboro and St. Paul, Cross Plains, Indiana.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

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.