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||Newsletter & Calendar - January 2018|
||Pastor's Message- Christmas 2017|
Dear Friends in Christ,
At the Lutheran Church–Canada convention that was held in Kitchener a few weeks ago, I was elected to the office of President of our synod – the primary duty of which is to provide ecclesiastical supervision, oversight, leadership and support of all the congregations and pastors of the synod. This is a four-year, full-time position; and, I will, as such, be moving to Winnipeg in January where our LCC synodical office is located. This means that, after having the privilege of serving as pastor of St. Peter’s for nearly 22 years, our congregation will soon begin the process of calling a new pastor. In light of this time of change for myself, our congregation and our synod, I would thus share with you a few Scriptural truths concerning the office of the holy ministry.
God has called His people in Holy Baptism into the priesthood of believers; and as part of this priesthood each and every member of the church functions as a witness and servant of the Lord and as a light to the world. At the same time, our Lord has also established the public ministry in His church. It is in this office that the pastor, as representative and servant of Christ and of the congregation, carries out the responsibilities that have been entrusted to him; namely, to preach and teach the Word of Christ truthfully and administer the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution and, thereby, offer and give and bestow upon people the blessings of forgiveness, life and salvation that He has earned and won for us on the cross.
As you start to think about the calling of a pastor, it is important to note that this is a divine call in which God confers the ministry on a qualified man, with the church acting as His instrument. It is not the hiring of a person by the congregation to carry out certain duties that the congregation has formulated for itself in its job description. Our Lutheran Confessions thus state that “nobody should preach publicly in the church or administer the sacraments unless he is regularly called" (Augsburg Confession XIV). Consider the following passages from St. Paul: “It was Christ who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:11-12); and, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28).
While Christ called the disciples immediately and directly, as well as calling Paul to be an apostle in a most unique way on the road to Damascus, He now calls mediately; that is, through the church. So we read concerning the call of the successor of Judas: “So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barnabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.’ Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:23-26). And further: “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust” (Acts 14:23).
In light of all this, how important and necessary and comforting that we all thus remember and take to heart these words of St. Paul: “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted. Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building“ (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
In His Service,
From The Pen Of Martin Luther
"Our Lord God fills His high office in an odd manner. He entrusts it to preachers, poor sinners, who tell and teach the message and yet live according to it only in weakness. Thus God’s power always goes forward amid extreme weakness. Therefore, our faith must not rest on a person but on Christ, on His Word, on His office, on His command. Wherever these are observed, matters must be and go right, no matter who or what the person who administers them may be.”
|St. Peter's Calendar|