Monday, January 9, 2012

Dwarfs and Pastors: "At Your Service"

The dwarves (ahem...dwarfs) of middle-earth had it right: "At your service" was the repeated refrain as they crowded Bilbo's doorstep and then his Hobbit hole followed swiftly, as dwarfs are wont to do, the dinner table, pantry and keg. "At your service." Fitting words for dwarfs about to embark upon an adventure seeking to reclaim treasure and (more importantly) honor. And even more fitting words for pastors. "At your service." Whose service? Well, first and foremost it is Christ - the great servant of all - who gives any Christian in their vocation the humility to say: at your service. But pastors in particular have this unique vocation. That's the way Christian ordination begins for pastors. And it continues to the bedside of the ill and dying: "at your service."  Or driving the elderly to the pharmacy and the post-office: "at your service." Or at the home of a shut-in: "at your service." Or to the homeless and hungry: "at your service." And it all comes out of (and leads back to) that great "Hobbit" feast known as the Divine Service. There's always room for elevensies, second breakfast and more when our Servant-Savior, Jesus is involved. He calls pastors to be dwarf-ish. Not much to look at...simply a task given by the Servant of all. Feed my sheep. Serve my sheep. Love my sheep. Say to those in need, declare the Gospel, preach the forgiveness of sins and administer the Sacraments all in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ. And through Christ, according to their vocation(s), all Christians are given to say: "At your service." 

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