Friday, March 25, 2011

Green Pastures, Perfect Congregation?

As most of us are drowning under endorsement essay drafts, internship interviews and paperwork, besides the normal rushing flow of paper after project after readings, our brains are otherwise occupied and crowded with Luther's sermons, Tilly's observations, endless worship settings and prayers for that every occasion. Sharing a conversation with my best friend over the phone, she had asked me the silly question had I read the latest novel, etc.

"There is no more room at the Inn", I quipped.

And yet, on my bookshelf as we speak is more required reading this time assigned by my jovial Spiritual Director (who also happens to be my Camp Director) who thought it would be excellent reading and discussion material for when we met. With a raised brow I perused while he described it "It's from a Lutheran Missouri Synod pastor's view of his first call and some of the challenges he faced."

"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all."

I suspect many of us are romanticizing our first calls, that they will be in an urban setting, in a fashionable hip neighborhood with a beautiful parsonage or house attached and a perfect balance of congregational members. Reading the first chapter, one could almost imagine themselves riding along with him in his car, this educated pastor driving into this sleepy town in Southern Illinois and coming upon the church, dilapidated as well as the house, run down and how his stomach flopped and the disappointment seeped within his spirit.

If you get a chance, pick up the book called Open Secrets. I am thankful to have had that insight, because as many of us look toward that future when hands are laid upon us and our first call is on the horizon, we should remember that as we hold this public office our hands are open, waiting and ready to serve.

God's Peace

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