God in THIS moment..

8  But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT2)

Precisely because one allows God to be God, by whose will and appointment all things happen, one is able to declare that the concrete moment of the proclamation (the absolution, the sermon, the baptism, the supper; all given for you) is the divine act of God in the living present. Of course that “for you” cannot be spoken except in the proclamation. We are left in the position where we can only move to the proclamation because it is a matter of the present tense, here and now.

Words are the real work of the world—prayer words with God, parable words with men and women. The behind-the-scenes work of creativity by word and sacrament, by parable and prayer, subverts the seduced world. The pastor’s real work is what Ivan Illich calls “shadow work”—the work nobody gets paid for and few notice but that makes a world of salvation: meaning and value and purpose, a world of love and hope and faith—in short, the kingdom of God.

I came across these two readings earlier in my week, and I wanted to journal on them. To them, I had to add the Apostle Peter’s words about God and time. There is something about them I needed to think through, not at a theological level, but at a personal level.

I need to know God is speaking to my people right now. Whether my words are forgiving their sin, or uniting them to Jesus, in His death and resurrection, these words need to be God’s proclamation, not mine. As I repeat Christ’s words identifying the bread and wine as His Body and Blood, they need to be His words, not mine.

In those moments, as well as when I preach and teach and council

I need to know He is at work in that moment.

His presence in the moment–what Forde calls “the proclamation” means there is no doubt to whether the promise is true. God dwells with men, revealing not only His presence, but His love as well.

That should be the goal of any pastor, of any teacher, to make Christ known, in the moment.

And by that work – everything changes.

Praise God!

Gerhard O. Forde, “The Preached God,” in Theology Is for Proclamation (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1990), 36.
Eugene H. Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction, vol. 17, The Leadership Library (Carol Stream, IL; Dallas; Waco, TX: Christianity Today; Word Pub., 1989), 45–46.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on December 11, 2022, in Devotions. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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