Daily Reform, Day 2
Galatians 1:1-5 & Romans 1:1-6
From the Reformer
This is our comfort in the ministry, that ours is a divine office to which we have been divinely called. Reversely, what an awful thing it must be for the conscience if one is not properly called. It spoils one’s best work. When I was a young man I thought Paul was making too much of his call. I did not understand his purpose. I did not then realize the importance of the ministry. I knew nothing of the doctrine of faith because we were taught sophistry instead of certainty, and nobody understood spiritual boasting. We exalt our calling, not to gain glory among men, or money, or satisfaction, or favor, but because people need to be assured that the words we speak are the words of God. This is no sinful pride. It is holy pride.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
One cannot reason their way into a holy vocation because he decided that he wanted to preach or visit folks. To be sure, many end up in the ministry who should not be there. This is not because parishioners dislike their ministry. It is because God did not set them apart for the work. Blessed is the congregation who has a pastor who has been called by God and knows it. When the church is assured of his holy calling, they know an oracle (1Pt 4:11) is in their pulpit. When the preacher knows he is called of the Lord and not his own authority, he will speak the truth in love and without fear because he is assured he speaks for God. This confident voice is lofted on a holy pride that everyone called of God must have, else they will cower in the face of criticism.