Monthly theme: Identity.
Reading time: two minutes.
Just who do you think you are?
It’s that time of year that makes you wonder.
Easter Sunday is looming just a few weeks away. There’s urgency to get this right. Tremendous opportunity.
And you’re the Pastor. Seriously?
Maybe it’s exhaustion. Maybe it’s the unrealistic expectations; some from the church, some from yourself.
It’s a season to wonder, “Am I the right person for this? Certainly Jesus could find someone who could do this better.”
Well, you may be right. In the mystery of the kingdom, the Lord has given you certain gifts and withheld others. You’re not perfect.
But you are called. Ordained by God and the Church. And our God knows what he’s doing.
You’re exactly the person he needs right now in your little corner of the kingdom.
I’ve heard Satan’s whisper and I expect you have too. “You’re a lot more wandering sheep than you are a shepherd of the flock.” Okay, he’s got a point.
It might be your own voice you hear. The responsibility is enormous. So many in the great cloud of witnesses have done such wondrous things. It’s easy to doubt. You know that you’ve strayed from the path. Even the slightest bit of Lenten reflection brings your failures to mind.
But here’s the truth: humans make the best Pastors.
You are a wandering little lamb, but by the promise of the gospel,
by the unalterable covenant of baptism,
by the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit and the prayers of Christ at the right hand of the throne of God,
you are safely nestled in the sheep pen, a child of God, redeemed, forgiven, gifted and called to proclaim.
That’s kind of the point, you know.
The Lenten journey is not about a walk down the straight and narrow. If you’re like me, you’ve already had some chocolate or soda or missed your prayer time, or broken whatever your Lenten discipline was going to be.
That’s what makes you qualified to share the good news of Easter joy. Christ is Risen! Sins forgiven!
You preach what you know: “Jesus came for sinners… like me.”
Your identity as a minister of the gospel is pretty much as muddled up as the rest of us. You’re under-qualified, under-trained, under-experienced, under-fill-in-the-blank.
That puts you in good company. Welcome to the club. The family. The flock.
It’s your experience of brokenness that makes you such a great witness to Christ’s healing.
So which is it, wandering sheep or little lamb in the Shepherd’s arms?
Sweet paradox of the Christian faith.
It’s what qualifies you for the Office. You’re in my prayers this week. So “Give ’em heaven!”
And tell Satan to get lost.
Thanks for reading.