Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sorry, Lady, Lutheran Masses are Free.

Why wearing a clerical collar is a good way to deliver Meals on Wheels

This month, the Jerseyville Ministerial Alliance has been delivering the hospital's meals on wheels. (They find different volunteer groups for a month, Hope has a month, usually in the spring.) This is my week. And, like anything else pastoral I do, I've worn my uniform.

Today a lady stopped me and said, "Father, what are Masses now?" I assumed she meant when are masses now. She didn't. She clarified, "How much do they cost?" It's moments like this when I realize just how apostate Rome is and how little the Reformation accomplished on the other side of the Tiber, despite few reforms. Picking my jaw up from the floor, I responded, "Ma'am, I'm the Lutheran pastor. You can't buy our Masses; the Mass is a gift from the Lord. So it's free."

As a side note, as well as offering opportunities like this to refute Roman falsehoods, a collar adds distinction. None of the other men who've been delivering meals this month wear one. They all dress in normal business casual, which makes them blend in. Six months from now (or less), most of these people receiving meals won't remember the people who delivered their meals and blended in. But they might remember the Lutheran pastor for his distinctive dress. The man deserves no distinction, but the Office he occupies is Christ's Office. It is distinct from anything else. It's the Office through which Christ distributes His gifts. The man is dispensible; the Office indispensible. You might as well dress like it.

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