Your pastor, your shepherd

The apostle Paul, in Sunday’s first Scripture lesson, speaks about the ministry of the pastor to the flock in his spiritual care. “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. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. 32 Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:28-32).

Professor Brug also has some interesting comments for a pastor: “It is certainly a great thing to be able to give new life to a dead baby with water and words. It is certainly a marvel that after you speak a few words, Christ’s body and blood are present in the Sacrament. What awesome power to be able to forgive sins. When the first pastors returned from their first mission, they were amazed and joyful that their power was so great that even the demons of hell submitted to them in Jesus’ name. Jesus, however, sobered them with these words: ‘Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven’ (Luke 10:20).

“‘Your names are written in heaven.’ When Lutheran pastors need joy and confidence to sustain them and give them courage for their work, these words are enough: ‘Your names are written in heaven.’ Not ‘you can absolve,’ ‘you can baptize,’ ‘you can consecrate’ but ‘your names are written in heaven.’” - Dr. John F. Brug, The Ministry of the Word. (Northwestern Publishing House: 2009) pg. 397


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