Daily Lectionary: 2 Chronicles 29:1-24; Philippians 3:1-21
[A bishop must…] hold fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. (Small Catechism: The Table of Duties: To Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the Small Catechism, you’ll find some pages called “The Table of Duties.” This is a set of Scripture passages that describes the responsibilities that the Lord gives to people in various callings. The first entry is for pastors. Pastors are supposed to be faithful, to use sound teaching, to comfort you and encourage you, while at the same time shutting down those who contradict God’s Word.
You are probably not a pastor, so what good are these words to you? They are life! Christ forgives your sins and makes you a Christian through the Word and Sacraments your pastor administers. It is by His Word, given through your pastor, that the Holy Spirit gives you life, gives you faith, and saves you. It is the message of the cross—Jesus crucified for your sins—that your pastor preaches, by which the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Church on earth.
The devil desires only that no one would believe in Christ, trust in His forgiveness, and have peace. So he stirs up all kinds of false doctrine, fake preachers, and crazy ideas that sound almost Christian, but ultimately are not. That’s why the Lord gives you a pastor: to defend you and protect you from any teaching that would lead you astray and tear you away from Christ!
What joy that the Lord delivers His salvation to you in the means of grace, which your pastor gives out. What joy that the salvation won for you by Christ the crucified is bestowed upon you through this pastor. And what a comfort and relief that your pastor works hard, by God’s grace, to protect you from what is false and deadly. The Table of Duties teaches us what a pastor should do. And we learn, as is always the case with Jesus, that this is all given and done for you! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Send, O Lord, Your Holy Spirit, On Your servant now, we pray; Let him prove a faithful shepherd That no lamb be led astray. Your pure teaching to proclaim, To extol Your holy name, And to feed Your lambs, dear Savior, Make his aim and sole endeavor. (Send, O Lord, Your Holy Spirit, LSB 681:1)