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Joy in being your Pastor

Posted by Pastor Christopher Hull on

This blog post today is personal, but I do believe it can apply to both pastors and laity alike. I have great joy in being the pastor of the saints of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas. I am not the pastor of any other church in Tomball, or in the great state of Texas. I am not the pastor of any other LCMS church in the U.S., nor am I am internet pastor, shepherding the flocks of online listeners and readers. I am one of the called sheepdogs of Zion Lutheran Church, and it is a great joy to be in this blessed place. It is a joy to be your pastor, the sheepdog to you the saints of Zion Lutheran Church?

Why? Why is it a joy to be your pastor? Is it because you sin a little less than all the other sheep of all the other congregations? Is it because you give me the best health plan with the largest retirement package? Is it because you never fight with each other, but always get along? Is it because you don't question anything that falls out of my mouth from the pulpit, lectern,them, board meeting, voter's meeting, and bedside? No. These things, if they happened, wouldn't bring me joy that never ends, but temporal comfort and ease. No. What gives me joy in being your pastor is that Jesus has placed me as the one that brings forgiveness into your life, and brings His light into every dark time. As President Harrison put it, "But the greatest honor of the office, from my perspective, is being invited into the lives of people at their very best moments and at their very worst moments. What unexcelled joy to be able to provide comfort and hope to the sick, the despondent, the dying, those struggling with addiction, or a myriad of other issues in life! What a joy it was when folks came right to me with an issue that was bothering them, even when it was something I'd done to offend@ What joy to baptize, to preach the Gospel, to give them the Sacrament, to lead them in worship, to marry them, and bury the dead, to care for those suffering! There was no greater joy than this service, knowing that I was forgiven my many flaws and faults, prayed for, and loves as pastor, a person. What a profound temporal and eternal joy" (Little Book on Joy 120).  I have joy in being your pastor because, by the working of the Holy Spirit, you call me into your worst times and your best times, your achievements and your defeats, your joys and your sorrows, your laughs and your tears, your births and your deaths, your celebrations and your consolations. I have the joy of baptizing two day old babies and 95 year old men. I have the joy of absolving an entire congregation on Easter morning that tops 250 in numbers, and the joy of absolving an individual their sins in the privacy of an empty nave. I have the joy of communing hundreds of saints while belting out Lutheran hymns on Sunday morning, and the joy of communing in silence a saint moments before their death in the hospital. I have the joy of bringing Jesus into your life, no matter the obstacles. I have the joy of forgiving you in the stead of Jesus your many failures, and of you forgiving me my many mistakes and short-comings. I have the joy of praying with you, eating with you, crying with you, and laughing with you. I have the joy of ushering you into heaven in the distribution of the means of grace. I have the joy of knowing that when I'm done with you, I've done what Jesus gave me to do, which is forgive you, and grant you eternal life and salvation. This is why it is a joy to be your pastor at Zion Lutheran Church. Ain't no place I'd rather be than with y'all at Zion distributing the gifts that grant you joy and peace. 

Peace be with you. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam be drowned anew so that you hear only the voice of your Savior Jesus who says, "I love you. I forgive you. I claim you as My own forever," Amen.

Jesus' Sheepdog,

Pastor Hull

Tags: harrison, joy, pastor, sheepdog