Monday, February 22, 2010

It's snowing... again. :)

When I went to bed last night, it was raining.

When I got up this morning, there was about 2.5 inches of snow on the ground.

But this was not the deep cold snow, that we all have been used to as of late. This snow was heavy and wet. It put a nice covering on everything. It stuck nicely to everything it touched. And it left the road slushy, rather than overly slick and hazardous. The winter is losing it's icy grip on the frigid north - at least here in Saint Joseph. The wet and heavy snow signals that a final melting will occur. Maybe not today, maybe the wind will blow and the temperature will drop and winter will make another futile attempt to freeze us. Still, the end is in sight. The change in the snow signals winter's impending demise.

Is this not the way of the Christian today? Because of Christ, sin has lost is stranglehold on humanity. He has melted sin's icy grip with the outpouring of his warm blood. His blood shattered sin and continually washes over us and makes us clean. And though sin may make it's inlets into our lives; it may overtake us and drive us to dismay that there is no end to suffering in this life. The end is in sight. And Christ's continually tells us we are forgiven and gives us that forgiveness that we might not despair, but instead that we might know that Christ has freed us from sin and will bring us through life's harsh winter to a warm land, flowing with milk and honey.

+Kyrie Eleison+

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pastoral Ways

I've not posted in a while. It's not because I've been too busy to blog, but simply because I haven't wanted to lately. I've not had enough energy to post anything constructive lately and it would have been rant had I posted before now.

However, all my internal and external ranting has finally brought about, perhaps, a sense of growth into a more pastoral mindset. Perhaps it's part of that oratio, meditatio, tentatio Luther talks about?

Anyway, it boils down to something Pastor Batsky told me a couple months ago: act like a pastor today. I thought originally how incredibly pietistic and moralistic that sounded. But now as I understand it, it has a much broader scope.

I have a gentleman that I speak with regularly who delights in the law of the Lord, too much - at the expense of the Gospel. It ultimately shapes his view on the end times (Historic Premillenialist-ish), and the way He interprets Scripture (with a bias where he is always correct, that he might never contradict himself). He often is spot on on some details, and it is enjoyable to listen to him. But lately it has gotten harder to have conversation with him. He gives me back-handed compliments, belittles me when I disagree with his interpretation of passages, and can be vociferously belligerent if I tend to agree with the Lutheran Confessions (which he claims makes so many wrong conjectures).

I have seen strife and anger first hand. People who have become upset and angry over something that could have been avoided. People who are unwilling to understand before acting. People for whom forgiveness is not the answer to redeem and bring to Christ a broken world.

And, on the positive side, I have seen Pastor Roth handle a very delicate situation with incredible Pastoral Care. A situation in which I would have failed miserably.

Act like a pastor today.

Speak with love and with understanding to the people you wish to guide and teach. Be encouraging, slow to become angry, and patient. Always patient. Be repentant and forgiving, and ultimately trust in the Gospel. Trust in the Gospel, that the Good Pastor Jesus Christ has been the perfect Pastor for you, and has forgiven every one of your sinful pastoral failures with His precious blood.

+Kyrie Eleison+