Lutheran Spokesman

"…the Scriptures cannot be broken." John 10:35

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Called by Christ to Be Servants of His Servants

“‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.’ . . . And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

(Ephesians 4:8,11-13)

The day was Maundy Thursday. The location, an upper room in Jerusalem. Jesus was gathered with His disciples to celebrate the Passover. At the outset of the evening’s festivities, He stooped over, took a towel, poured water into a basin, and started washing the disciples’ feet. Peter tried to stop Him, thinking that this act of service was beneath his Master’s dignity. Jesus told Peter, “What you don’t understand now, you will later.” After completing the chore, He told His disciples, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15, for the full account see vv. 1-17)

Jesus was teaching a spiritual lesson that He wants His believers of all times to take to heart: He calls us to serve Him in those around us by kindhearted deeds. This is to be a response to the work of love He performed for us all by washing us clean of our sin by His blood shed on the cross. We rejoice to know that He views the acts of loving service we do for others as having been done for Him (see Matthew 25:40). Read More…

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The Shepherd Kindly Calls

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“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

(1 Peter 5:2-4)

This summer, several CLC congregations will have ordination and installation services for their new pastors who have just graduated from Immanuel Lutheran Seminary in Eau Claire. These men will then begin a career of service to the Lord and His people. In each case, how these positions were filled is unlike any type of “job placement” in the usual sense of that phrase. None of the graduates sent in a résumé to apply for the position of pastor. The congregations conducted no interviews of prospective candidates; in fact, they asked to be assigned a graduate sight-unseen! There were no salary negotiations or contracts to sign. From the standpoint of normal business practices, the whole process appears to be fraught with uncertainty and the likelihood of failure—and yet both parishioners and pastors-elect expect the arrangement to work out superbly. The reason for this, simply put, is a matter of faith. It has to do with trust in the promises and directions that are found in the Word of God concerning the doctrine of the call. Read More…

Hymn 493 “Thou Who the Night in Prayer Didst Spend”

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Listen to hymn at: http://lutherantacoma.com/hymns/493.mp3
Hymn Text: Luke 6:12 ff.

Author: Christopher Wordsworth, 1862, cento, alt.

Composer: Dimitri S. Bortniansky, 1822, ad.

Tune: “St. Petersburg”

Public ministers of God’s Word are faced with a challenging task. They bring that Word to bear in a world that increasingly resents it. They must deal with many different people, many different personalities, and many different problems which Satan throws in their way. Without the hand of God at work in their ministries, they would fail in a moment. It is fitting then to pray for all those whose task it is to administer Law and Gospel; including pastors, teachers, missionaries, evangelists, and more. But what do we pray?

The hymn Thou Who the Night in Prayer Didst Spend (TLH 493) begins by reminding us that our Savior Himself prayed all night long before He chose the apostles who would carry His ministry into the world (Luke 6:12). Before any endeavor involving the work of the kingdom, it is good to call upon God (Luke 11:2). Since the ministry of the Gospel is a ministry carried out by human messengers, we pray as Christ did, asking that the necessary workers be sent out (Matthew 9:38). Thou who the night in prayer didst spend / And then didst Thine apostles send / And bidd’st us pray the harvest’s Lord / To send forth sowers of Thy Word. Read More…