The Core of Pastoral Preparation: The Cross (Evangelical Catholic XVI)
Devotional thought of the Day:
15 I do not call you servants any longer, because servants do not know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 17 This, then, is what I command you: love one another. John 15:15-17 (TEV)
For unless a man is a radically converted Christian disciple— one who, in gazing upon the Cross, knows himself to be looking at the great truth at the center of human history— he will not be able to bring to the world, through his ministry, the truth that “God so loved the world that he gave his Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” [John 3.16].
As I continue reading through Weigel’s Book, Evangelcial Catholicism< I am once again both pleased and disturbed by what I read. ( I am disturbed because one again, I find him so in agreement with Luther – and yet we are still divided )
The quote above comes from the section on the priesthood – how the movement that started to reform the church and resulted in Vatican II and is still trying to come to its fullest fruit. Weigel shows the idea that the priesthood is not some kind of clerical caste, some kind of special profession – but it is above all, focused on the cross – and therefore missional. (I’ve written about this elsewhere – numerous times – we are not, pastors and priests – professionals…. we serve alongside our Lord.)
Everything changes because of the cross – everything in history focuses on that point.
And its that which is the center then of our ministry – as we bring people to Christ’s cross – so that the sin in us can be killed off, so that we can be brought to life in Him (again – see Ezekeil 26:25ff and 37, Romans 6 and Colossian 2-3) That is the core of our ministry, whether we pastor a church of 10,000 with a television ministry, or we pastor a church that is simply a few families. The only thing we can offer people is simple – it is the love and mercy of Christ that meets them where they are at, and transforms us. Anything else but that at the center of our ministry is simply unacceptable. It is not the calling that has been placed n our lives – the calling we have is to reveal Christ, to make Him known, to show the cross as the way in which He brings us to share in His glory.
As we prepare to preach and to hear our pastors and priests preach this weekend… may we remember why we do what we do… that all would come to know God, and be transformed by His love! Amen
Weigel, George (2013-02-05). Evangelical Catholicism (p. 140). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.
- Being in Ministry: a Profession or a Vocational Life? (Review of Evangelical Catholic pt. XV) (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Who should lead our churches? Evangelical Catholic Review #12 (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Are pastors professional leaders, or servants? ( Evangelical Catholic XIV – plus some Luther) (justifiedandsinner.com)
Posted on July 5, 2013, in Devotions, Good Articles, Theology in Practice and tagged Catholicism, Christ, core truth., Evangelical Catholic, George Weigel, God, Life giving, Lutheran, Ministry, pastors, preaching, sacraments. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.