In these days of Christmas duties, services, gatherings, visitation and all else, permit me to say what you already know. You are doing a precious work of God.
Somewhere Martin Franzmann wrote about a man who went home from church with nothing but a word in his pocket. That’s the Good Word from God that you’re speaking these days. May the Spirit who attends your ministry cradle Jesus in every one who hears you. Whether they attend regularly or just for Christmas, each person before you is dear to God, and through your ministry He wants to touch them with His love in Jesus.
A line from Daniel Paavola of Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon describes our work this way: “Grace upends our world, but it does so through difficulties we never imagined” (Patience and Perfection: Finding Peace in God’s Plan for You, Concordia Publishing House, Page 19). That was true of Mary and Joseph, too. Difficulties came with Jesus — and — came because of Jesus “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 ESV). It’s also true of us as church workers, true of all believers in the church. In the labors of these Christmas days for the church, we feel the difficulties of ministry and in our tiredness realize anew our personal dependence upon grace. As earnestly as we desire our services to be edifying and well-received by all who come, so sincerely do we desire that each of us personally will grow closer to Jesus.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:10-11 ESV).
Thank you for your precious ministry!
Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis