Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Vocational JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. Ministry is hard.  One cross-denominational survey of pastors in America showed that in the last 12 months, 75% of pastors have considered doing something else for a living. Amos certainly must have been tempted.  The priest at Bethel, Amaziah, who was the brunt of many of Amos’ prophetic attacks, told Amos to go home to Judah.  Amos responded by saying and hinting (in chapter 7), “Look, I’m a shepherd and a fig farmer.  I had a good life, a much easier life than this.  I don’t need the grief.  But I’m not going home.” I hope and pray that you will never face as much conflict and criticism in ministry as Amos.  I know that many of you often feel as though you are, and you may be right. But I do hope and pray, and our organization exists, so that you might continue on with the joy of the Lord, as Amos did, in spite of the hardships.Doesn’t Amos sound like St Paul, (who endured more than his share of hardships), when he said, “The Sovereign Lord has spoken – who can but prophesy?” (3:8)  The proclamation of the Word of the Lord, even when met with resistance, was the prophet’s call and he couldn’t stop. You stand in the line of the prophets, that great cloud of witnesses who stood boldly and spoke, even when it meant sacrifice.  The call from God and the call from the holy Christian Church to it’s servants, people of the Word, is to proclaim. And if anyone should suggest that we hold back a bit or that we go home and keep quiet will hear from us, as Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29). We’ve got a Word that needs to be heard.  Amos was the first to proclaim “The Day of the Lord!” and that ultimate, final Day of the Lord is far nearer than when he spoke.  So we speak with boldness against sin and evil.  The Day of the Lord is drawing near.  That’s bad news for some, but great, good news for us and for all who will listen and believe. So I pray that you’ll stay with the task, and find the Joy that only the Spirit of God can give, and remember that your effort will not be in vain. Amos concludes with a beautiful picture of the Lord’s day of harvest:  “The day are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes.” (9:13).  One day the Lord and His harvesting angels will be right on your heals, and the planting and harvesting will run together. Keep planting with Joy! Thanks for reading. Subscribe to Blog Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region?  We’d love to hear from you.  Contact our President/CEO Randy Fauser today to begin exploring the possibilities.  Let’s have a conversation about bringing our Church Worker Retreat to your area soon!