“Joys of the Ministry”

While I really need to be reading through my sermon for tomorrow, I put it off a few more minutes to browse Pastor Petersen’s blog. He has a short meditation on the “joys of the ministry” or the usage of that phrase by pastors.
I wonder if distributing Holy Communion and preaching might be added to the list? Granted, preaching is simply a particular and public form of “telling people about Jesus” but it is unique to the pastoral office. And Communion, though lay people (and vicars) occasionally assist, handing out physical forgiveness of sins to sinners must be a joy of ministry.



5 thoughts on ““Joys of the Ministry”

  1. It’s monday and my sermon is preached.

    Tim…I concur. Isn’t strange how often we (seemingly unwittingly) ignore/disregard/are not aware of the Supper and the Word???

    It reminds me how at sem I heard wives complaining about trying to go to chapel with their small children because “they couldn’t get anything out of it.”

    Even on Wednsday? (the day when the Sem community celebrates the Eucharist.)

    From experience, it seems many among the fellowship of believers are just unaware of what we do week after week. “We swallow and digest Jesus Christ.” And, as Tim points out, those in the office, literally, “give Jesus” to the rest of us. It’s the closest Biblical theology comes to the pop phrase of “sharing Christ.”

    But I think a lot of pastors/parishoners today want to see results. They want to see lives changed. They want to see see the Eschaton today, and so the greatest joys of the ministry (which are not about us at all!) fall to the background.

    And…I should disclaim…I do not mean by my words to belittle or demean the joy that does come from witnessing unto conversion, or seeing someone heed the Word of God with resulting fruit of peace/joy/reconciliation. These are the sanctification of the Church. But without the causal joys of the ministry, these fruitful joys either do not occur, or occur as idolatry (if you take my meaning [PPD]).

    To close, this is the first time I have really ventured to say SOMETHING since the last time I exploded this site. Please go easy on me!! 🙂

  2. The joys of ministry:

    . “Johannes, wake up! It’s Katrina, do you hear?” The sick man was in his right mind again.
    . “Katrina, it was good of you to come. You are kind, Katrina. God will reward you. And me, he will punish…I am a sinner, a great sinner.”
    . “Yes, that you are, Johannes. But Jesus is still a greater Savior.” Johannes breathed heavily before answering. “Yes, He is a great Savior for those who let themselves be saved. But my heart is not clean, my mind is evil; I do not have a new spirit.”
    . “Johannes,” answer me this question, do you really want your heart to be clean?” “Yes, Katrina. God knows that I want that.”
    “Then your repentance is also as true as it can be in a corrupt child of Adam in this world. Your danger is not that you lack repentance, but that you have been drifting away from faith.”
    “What, then, shall I believe, Katrina?”
    “Believe this living Word of God. Up to this day you have believed in works and looked at your own heart. You saw only sin and wretchedness, because God anointed your eyes with the salve of the Spirit to see the truth. Do you have sin in your heart, Johannes?”
    . “Yes.” Answered the sick man timidly, “much sin, altogether too much.”
    . “Just that should make clear to you that God has not forsaken you,” said the woman firmly. “Only he can see his sin who has the Holy Spirit.”
    . “Do you mean to say, Katrina, that it could be a work of God, that my heart is so unclean?”
    . “Not that your heart is unclean—that is the work of sin—but that you now see it, that is the work of God.”
    . “But why then, have I not received a clean heart?”
    . “That you might learn to love Jesus,” said the woman as calmly as before…
    . “Have you anything more to say, Katrina?”
    . “Yes, one more thing, Johannes. ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’”…Katrina got up quietly, took the Bible that lay on the table, and sat down again. Opening the Bible, she read: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
    . “Amen, I believe!” said Johannes, in voice that could barely be heard.
    . “Now God’s work has taken place. Now you must ask the Pastor to give you the Holy Sacrament.” Johannes nodded slowly.” He looked at his sister. “Will you ask the pastor?”

    Taken from “http://home.flash.net/~atiedt/sermon10_27_02.htm”

  3. Thanks for reading.

    It is all in the definitions. From my perspective preaching and administering the Sacrament are duties and burdens. There is joy in them to be sure, but also some fear. They are dangerous things.

    Besides which, the joy of preaching and administering the Sacrament is not really any different from the joy of receiving preaching and the Sacrament – and that is not a joy of the Ministry – it is a joy from the Ministry.


  4. Interesting points Peterson, and well taken. I only hope that your duties in the office do not only inspire fear (cf. Acts 9:31)

    And…you can never read enough Giertz!

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