So You Think the Ministry Is Easy?

It’s not. Far from it.

There are many events that make me rejoice. Chief of all is the people of God to whom God has charged me to serve receiving His Gifts of Word and Sacrament. You don’t know how charged up I get to hear an entire Communion table say “Amen” after I dismiss them from the rail. They have received the Body and Blood of Christ. They are redeemed and forgiven. And I get to put the Life of all the living in their mouths and ears. Wow.

More and more I am enjoying working with young people. It’s always been a challenge for me because of the way I grew up. I didn’t have many friends as a child. I related better to older people than I did with my own generation. Even at church when I was a boy I seemed to stick out like a sore thumb amid all the older people. It’s not that way there anymore.

I joke with my flock about having a target on my back. I tell them it was put there at my ordination. I can’t get the target off my back. When people have trouble within the congregation, whether or not it’s my fault, seemingly the buck stops at my study door.

I want to be nice. I want to be liked. Unfortunately the Preaching Office is not always about being niced and being liked. I have to deal with people and their sin. Some people do not like to deal with their sin. Some people expect the pastor to be perfect; never making a mistake. When he does make a mistake it’s as if that mistake is the unpardonable sin.

Every day we pastors stand in the gap between good and evil. We deal with holy things; things people either repel in anger and disgust or soak in with joy. Saint Paul says it best:

Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14-17 NKJV).

Either you love us or love to hate us. I submit it’s not really “us”. It’s God. All of us have a love/hate relationship with God. Thanks be to God that the Law is there to kill, while the Gospel is there to heal. We walk daily in repentance and forgiveness.

More and more I cling to Christ, the ideal Pastor. I will never be like Him, but I can leave the burdens of the Preaching Office at His throne. This makes life bearable because Jesus bears the burden of sin to the cross and into the tomb; burying it there forever as He comes forth alive!

I guess you could say I’m heavily medicated…with the Gospel! God be praised!



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