Stir, stir, stir

Holy and awesome God, you have called me to preach your Word to your people.  And this is an awesome calling; one that causes me to pause and wonder if I am being faithful.  So God, I ask that you may stir my heart that I may know your Spirit and therefore turn over the controls.  For if this task were left up to me I would surely bring it all to ruin.  

But this calling to preach your Word is not limited to Sunday morning.  And it’s not even limited to me as a pastor.  You have called all your people to preach your Word to everyone.  So in that light I ask that you may bless the children this morning as they preach your Word through their Christmas program.  

But also, bless each and everyone one of us as we head out into the world so that we may not fail to preach, but boldly share our faith whether called to be a pastor or not. For through faith in Jesus Christ, all believers are received into the priesthood of all believers and therefore we are called to preach. Stir our hearts continually so that we may give you glory, continually.

Loving and worthy God, we are here ~ stir, stir, stir…

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

The pastor -|—

God is awesome!

I really want to share with you some details about an encounter with a gentleman (Q) last night, but I can’t because of confidentiality.  But I do want to say that God is awesome and works in wonderful and powerful ways.  I also want to say that I am thankful for the priesthood of all believers because without faithful people living out their faith, this gentleman would not have received the care that he desperately needed…not just last night but for the last couple months.

I want to give a big shout of thanks out to these two parishioners but I won’t.  Rather I will give and big shout of thanks and praise out to God for working through these two people to share the Gospel with Q.  I want to say that it was pure chance and dumb luck that they found me last night so I could talk to Q (I was out for a run and hence away from my home and phone).  But I won’t say that…rather I will say that God is awesome and works in wonderful and powerful ways.

I don’t know what is in store for Q but I can rest assured that he will be cared for and love for the rest of his life.

Praise be to God!

-edh-

Priesthood of all believers

The priesthood of all believers is one of the basic tenants of the Lutheran faith; that we are all ministers; all preachers of the Word of God.  Some people just happen to be called and set apart for this ministry, but it doesn’t mean it is reserved for the clergy alone.

A week or so ago my wife started writing and emailing devotions to her co-workers (and I managed to get on her email list as well…surprise, surprise).  She has been more faithful in writing than I have been at blogging recently (I hope she keeps it up).  Each night she spends about an hour or so in devotions; searching scripture and writing what God places on her heart.  Her devotions are thought provoking and definitely come from God (I keep telling her she need to write a blog, but so far no luck).  Each morning I sign on to my email and there is her devotion for the morning…and she ministers to me.  She says that every once in a while a co-worker will tell her how thankful they are that she does this…but don’t worry…she never let’s those comments go to her head.  She feels so unworthy to be doing this but at the same time she feels that God is placing these devotions on her heart to share.

For me, Connie epitomizes the “priesthood of all believers”.  She saw an opportunity to share Christ at work and she is taking it.  She doesn’t do it for her glory but for Gods.  Allow me to share an excerpt from her devotions for this morning (I do have her permission to share this) that speaks to this very thing…being a minister where ever we are at:

Colossians 3:16-17
“16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Here again we are commanded to be thankful and give thanks to God.   Do you ever think about your job being an extension of the Lord Jesus?  He just told us it is in this verse.  You are showing Christ when you answer the phone, do some filing, deal with a difficult person, go to a meeting, or go out on a visit.  I remind myself constantly throughout the day that whomever I am dealing with is a child of God.  He created this person and I need to love them, no matter how difficult.  I am thankful for people who have differing personalities because if everyone was like me, we would have way too much chaos in this world!  With Thanksgiving coming tomorrow, I want you to know that my thanks to God include my job and my co-workers.  I feel blessed to be able to share these devotions with you and know we are all focused on the same God everyday.

I am thankful for ministers such as Connie.  We all need to epitomize the phrase “the priesthood of all believers”.  It can’t simply be left up to the clergy.  Look for opportunities to talk about Christ.  Whether it is through an email devotion like Connie is doing or whether it is through how you respond to a “difficult person”.  Each and every person can be a minister/preacher in a variety and a number of ways.  Don’t miss your opportunity.  But what ever you do, do it all for the glory of God; giving thanks and praise to Him.

-edh-