Devotions

Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Today's Reading: Small Catechism, Table of Duties: To Bishops, Pastors, Preachers

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 7:10-8:8; 1 Peter 3:1-22

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” - Titus 1:9 (Table of Duties: To Bishops, Pastors, Preachers)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do you know why your pastor does what he does? Do you know why he preaches what he preaches? It’s because God has called him to an Office to do one thing (actually, more than this, but especially this): preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what he does, week in and week out. And the best part: he does this for you! That’s right, he preaches that Gospel message for you, that you may hear of the Good News of Jesus, that He has come into creation, to live among creation, to die for creation, and to rise again for creation.

It might not seem like that’s a hard thing to do, to preach the Gospel, but rest assured, it’s harder than it seems. The world is very hostile to the Gospel of Jesus. The world doesn’t like what your pastor has to say because he might hurt their feelings or say something that they don’t agree with. But that’s what he said he would do, to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season…” (2 Timothy 4:2).

The reason why this is so important is because it is Jesus who saves. Preaching Jesus is preaching salvation. And so, your pastor buries his nose in the Scriptures in order to proclaim the sweet words of salvation, that your sins have been forgiven for Christ’s sake. He does this because God has called him to do so, to bring Jesus to a people who are hurting, who are dealing with the messiness of life, so that they may be comforted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ for them and their sins.

There is no greater joy for a pastor than to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that all who hear it would believe and receive the salvation which Christ has won for us. Remember your pastor, pray for your pastor, that he may faithfully preach the Word of God to you and to all. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty and gracious God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, You have commanded us to pray that You would send forth laborers into Your harvest. Of Your infinite mercy give us true teachers and ministers of Your Word who truly fulfill Your command and preach nothing contrary to Your holy Word. Grant that we, being warned, instructed, nurtured, comforted, and strengthened by Your holy Word, may do those things which are well pleasing to You and profitable for our salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (Collect for the Increase of the Holy Ministry