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Titus 1:5-9


This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you- if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (ESV)
The Office of Pastor Is Permanent
St. Matthias, Apostle
24 February 2016
Years ago I had a member that would say, "Pastor, you are not forever. After you are long gone, we will still be here." I would respond, "Yes, of course. But I am here now." None of us is forever; neither pastor, nor parishioner. Only our God is from everlasting to everlasting. God fills with His divinely instituted preaching office those whom He chooses. The office is God's and for that reason the office is great and glorious. St. Matthias was appointed by God to take the office vacated by Judas the betrayer (Acts 1:16-26).
 
Scripture tells us nothing of Matthias other than his election. He does not appear to be particularly important in the scheme of salvation history. Yet no preacher is important for his own sake, but only for the sake of the office in which God has placed him. This is why the Christian people can have confidence in the gifts that God gives His people at the hands of those whom God places in office. The gifts are God's not the preacher's. So after we are all "long gone" the gifts of God will still be given in the church through the office of pastor. No pastor is permanent; the office of pastor is.

 

Martin Luther

"Our faith and the sacrament must not be based on the person, whether he is godly or bad, consecrated or unconsecrated, called or an impostor, whether he is the devil or his mother, but upon Christ, upon his word, upon his office, upon his command and ordinance. Where these are in force, there everything will be carried out properly, no matter who or what the person might happen to be. If we would consider the person, then the preaching, baptism, and Lord's Supper which Judas and all his descendants have performed and administered and would still be performing and administering according to Christ's command, would be nothing but the devil's preaching, baptism, and Lord's Supper, for it would then be administered and given to us by the devil's members.
 
"However, because the office, word, and sacrament are the ordinance of Christ and not of Judas or the devil, we permit Judas and the devil to remain Judas and the devil, and yet accept through them the blessings of Christ. For when Judas went to the devil he did not take his apostolic office along with him but left it behind, and Matthias received it in his stead. Offices and sacraments always remain in the church; persons are daily subject to change. As long as we call and induct into the offices persons who can administer them, then the offices will surely continue to be exercised. The horse has been bridled and saddled; if you place on it even a naked lad who can ride, the horse will proceed as well as if the emperor or the pope were riding it."
 
Martin Luther, The Private Mass and the Consecration of Priests
 
Prayer
Lord God, heavenly King, whose chosen apostles have witnessed to us regarding Your resurrection, grant that Your Church, ever preserved from false teachers, may praise Your wonderful works and walk in the power of Your resurrection; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
 
For Paula Daniels, that the bones which the Lord has broken might rejoice
 
For teachers in Lutheran Schools, that those who teach might be upheld in every good deed and that all useful arts might flourish among Christian folk through their work
 
For President Obama and the Congress of the United States, that they would rule the nation in peace and equity

Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias Isenheim Altarpiece (1515)

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