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Posts Tagged ‘Great Physician’

My pastor believes there is ultimately only one thing he can do for the souls entrusted to his care.  He can be faithful to preach the Word and offer the Sacraments.

Nothing — not one thing — will do more for me or any other member of my church family.  Nothing but the Wisdom of the Word, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the Body and Blood of the Savior Jesus Christ will carry us on this earthly journey to our heavenly home.

But, when my pastor started offering the Lord’s Supper not just twice a month, but every Sunday, the complaining began.  Stubbornness set in.  Attendance dropped.  Those who guard the finances began to worry.  My pastor didn’t suggest the change because he’s enamored by the power of authority, but because he’s under authority.  He opened God’s Book.  In adult class and a series of sermons, he spoke God’s Word of instruction.   He explained the illness of sin and the Source of forgivness, healing, and strength.  Then, with faith in the Great Physician, my pastor stopped the practice of withholding medicine — saving it only for this Sunday or that — and started offering it every Sunday.   There, at the Lord’s Table, I am reminded that I’m forgiven and do not have to carry the burden of my sin baggage.  I am strengthened for the week’s battle against satan, the world, and my own sinful self.  I am filled for a week of worshiping God by serving others.

So, here is my pastor faithfully preparing the Lord’s Table every Sunday for us.  For a sick, burdened, and weary flock.  With arms open, he speaks The Word: Come!  Here is Christ… “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”  But, some in the flock have chosen to voice their dislike of weekly communion by refusing to attend church as regularly as they were.  In fact, there are whispers: Maybe if pastor sees the attendance dropping and money not coming in to meet our budget, he will stop this practice.

Do these people hear what they’re saying?  “Stop, pastor!  Stop offering us so much Christ!  Stop, or else… .”

Could it be?  Are some people really saying: We want more blessings!  We want more members to join!  We want more money for our storehouses!  We want success!  We want a place in the community!  We want more stuff!  But, we don’t want more Christ.

“Give us music, Pastor.”  “Give us joy, Pastor.”  “Give us opportunity to praise God, Pastor.”

But, Christ.  The Word in human flesh here for us.  Forgiveness for us.  Abundant life for us…

Just not so much.

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