August 15, 2022     7:47 am
287. Week of Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity - Saturday
          God has set some in the Church . . . teachers.   1Corinthians 12:28
          If, as we saw yesterday, the Office of the Keys is vested in the Christian congregation, and all the powers connected with it, what, then, is a pastor? In a Christian congregation the Office of the Keys must be administered in public, the Gospel must be preached, Baptism and the Lord's Supper must be administered, sin must be remitted and retained. It is evident that not all members can do this in the same manner. Therefore God has ordained that each congregation should choose and call a man who is to perform the functions of the Office of the Keys publicly, in the name of congregation and in its midst. Such a man is called pastor, shepherd, bishop, teacher. When he has accepted the call of the congregation, it is God Himself that has given him to that congregation, as our text shows. He then is the steward of the mysteries of God, as far as his public office in the congregation is concerned. (1Cor. 4:1) This his stewardship he has received from God through the congregation. But the instructions, the directions for his stewardship of the Office of the Keys, he has received from God alone. For the functions of the Office of the Keys are ordained by God; no man is permitted to alter them in the least. If a pastor does not adhere to the divine instructions, or if it becomes evident that he is a wicked man, then, after due admonition, the congregation should remove him. But if he does adhere to the divine instructions; if he preaches the Gospel in its truth and purity; if he administers the Sacraments according to the institution of Christ; if he forgives and retains sins according to the regulations which God has laid down; and if he leads a Christian life, then the congregation should know that God has given her that man to feed it, and he himself should also be well aware at all times that God has appointed him to serve that congregation. (Acts 20:28) It is a great and gracious gift of God for a Christian congregation to have a faithful pastor and teacher.
          PRAYER: - Lord, my God, I pray that You would at all times give us, Your Christians and Your children, upright teachers and ministers of Your divine Word and keep them in purity of doctrine and rectitude of a Christian life. Bless them in their office, and bless their faithful labours, that through their Gospel ministry our faith may be strengthened and every good work prosper among us. And give to me and to my brethren and sisters in the congregation Your Holy Spirit, that we may willingly accept and receive whatever they preach to us out of Your revealed Word. Amen.

Second Part : Catechism Lessons
August 15, 2022     7:47 am