Friday, December 20, 2013

Job #1 is Preaching

(Yet again, another excellent oldie snippet from Gottesdienst - this time by Rev. Rick Stuckwisch, whom I have the utmost respect for! The original can be found here)

The first and foremost thing a pastor is called to do is preach Christ. Such preaching is faithful when it is a confession of the Word of Christ. This faithful preaching of Christ is catechetical, because it is the preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins in His Name. This faithful preaching of repentance is always sacramental, because it is a preaching to and from the dying and rising of Holy Baptism, to and from the Body and Blood of Christ at His Altar. This sacramental preaching is likewise liturgical, not so much because it is "about the Liturgy," but because it is a fundamental and constitutive part of the Liturgy. As the Holy Communion is the heart of the Liturgy, so is faithful preaching the lungs of the Liturgy. Everything else the pastor does, in the Liturgy or otherwise, is (or ought to be) a continuation or an echo of his faithful preaching of Christ. Hence, everything the pastor says and does, as well as the way he says and does it, ought to be a faithful confession of Christ and His Word. The pastor also lives liturgically, that is, by repentant faith in the forgiveness of his sins, to and from his Baptism, to and from the Lord's Altar.

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