Monday, November 9, 2009

For the Sake of the Elect

At the installation of Pr. Joel Fritsche at my vicarage congregation, I shared with him this word from St. Paul to St. Timothy: "I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."

Sometimes this business of being the Lord's absolution guy is difficult. But the elect are worth it. Those not among the elect, who, through the hardening of their hearts and the sealing of their ears, have closed themselves off to the Word of God, will not welcome God's absolution guy. His word that calls them to repentance will be unwelcome, and so his word that forgives their sins will go unspoken. They will plot and scheme against him; they will attempt to thwart the Word of God; they will be a thorn not only in his side but also in the sides of the elect. But the elect are worth it.

What marvelous comfort there is in St. Paul's exhortation: the Lord's elect are worth it. By the power of the Holy Spirit delivered to those who occupy this Office of Christ, I endure everything for the sake of the elect.

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