Pastors and Priests are NOT Pez Dispensers…
Devotional Thought of the Day:
5 Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it. Psalm 141:5 (NLT)
1 You should think of us as Christ’s servants, who have been put in charge of God’s secret truths. 2 The one thing required of such servants is that they be faithful to their master. 3 Now, I am not at all concerned about being judged by you or by any human standard; I don’t even pass judgment on myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not prove that I am really innocent. The Lord is the one who passes judgment on me.
1 Corinthians 4:1-4 (TEV)
This sacred synod also prescribes that general directories be prepared treating of the care of souls for the use of both bishops and pastors. Thus they will be provided with certain methods which will help them to discharge their own pastoral office with greater ease and effectiveness.
Paul, to be sure, describes the duty of ministers in one word when he says in 1 Cor. 4:2, “It is required in servants that they be faithful.” To this faithfulness pertains the fact that they should have at least a fair knowledge of those things which are required for service or ministry and that they show diligence and constancy in performing their duties. There are several aspects of ministry: (1) The preaching of the Word, for which is required: (a) that “he speak as the oracles of God,” 1 Peter 4:11. (b) that he “not teach false doctrine,” 1 Tim. 1:3; but “guard the treasure which has been put into your charge,” 2 Tim. 1:13; “rightly dividing” the Law and the Gospel, 2 Tim. 2:15. (2) The proper administration of the sacraments. (3) The use of the keys in absolution and excommunication. (4) Praying for the whole church. (5) An example to the believers, 1 Tim. 4:12; Titus 2:7, 1 Peter 5:3, “that the ministry be not discredited,” 2 Cor. 6:3. (6) The care of the poor, such as visiting the sick, comforting the afflicted, etc.
200 I am sure that God has listened to your humble and heartfelt plea: My Lord, I am not worried about “what people say”. Forgive me for my unworthy life: May I be a saint!… But it’s You alone I wish to please.
When I first started to see this blog forming out of quotes I encountered, I thought about making it’s title “Your Pastor/Priest is not a Pez Dispenser.” And then I thought, some of us need to remember this as well, and so the title could have been Dear Pastor/Priest: You are not a Pez dispenser.”
Not that there is anything wrong with Pez Dispensers. 🙂 I actually wish we could make church as addictive as candy!
But it isn’t our role. not within any protestant theological system, not within the understanding that I read in Vatican II of the Roman Catholic Chuch, and definite not within the walls of Lutheran understanding.
Being a pastor/priest is not about giving you sweet little sayings which you can use for meme’s or tweets. It isn’t about giving your once a week dose of the Sacrament, the Body and Blood of Christ is not something to be taken so lightly, it is to be treasured.
We have to stop acting as if we are robots, as if this ministry, the stewardship of the mysteries of God is just a job. It is, as the quote from Vatican II states, the very caring of our people’s souls.
And both those who are ordained and those whom we serve need to know this.
Not so they treat us “better”. To be honest, clergy needs to stop worry about that. We all need to realize we are more than Pez dispensers because of what we dispense. Paul is pretty clear about that in many places, including Col. 1:28ff.
We preach the gospel, and at times that means we have to confront and correct. We need to do it in love, knowing that this is about the person’s life with God. We need to call them to repentance, and they need to let us “meddle” in their lives, knowing that we don’t do so because it is fun.
That Gospel, these words of life, these words that bring healing to the soul also circumcise the heart.
The same thing with the sacraments, this isn’t just being a waiter at Denny’s. Well, in a way it is, as far as our importance is concerned. But the Body and Blood of Christ is what matters, the Lord communing with His people. This means we have to help them be assured of this blessing, to know how rich it is, to remember and find their hearts renewed, as the covenant is made clear.
God the Father love you this much….He gives you His son. And as we heard in yesterday’s epistle reading Christ is in you, and that gives you the hope of sharing in His glory.
We in ministry aren’t Pez dispensers because we are not plastic and perhaps a little rigid. We aren’t PEZ dispensers because we are dispensing the means of Grace, we pour our that which brings people to faith, nourishes that faith, helps us to realize that God counts us righteous, and makes us His holy people.
So pastors and priests, as you serve your people, do so with the knowledge of what you have been entrusted to give, and people, respond with joy to that which you are given, even when it is the call to repentance. For it is for you these men have been called, to care for your very souls, to reconcile you to God, to help you know the Lord is with you!
Catholic Church. (2011). Decree concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church: Christus Dominus. In Vatican II Documents. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Chemnitz, M., & Preus, J. A. O. (1999). Loci theologici (electronic ed., p. 392). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House.
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 894-895). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on May 9, 2016, in Devotions, Poiema, The Forge, Theology in Practice, Vatican II and tagged Abiding in Christ, Luther, Melancthon, Ministry, Mysteries of God, Pez, Word and Sacrament. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.