Jesus the Good Shepherd at Trinity Lutheran in Wausau.
A long time ago when I was a student at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, I was called by the university’s media development center. They were asking for pictures showing Lutheran pastors “at work.” When I think back at that, it begs me to ask the question about how the work of a pastor is defined.
The people at UWEC’s Media Development Center were trying to set up a multimedia presentation on Lutheranism. What they were looking for were images coming from the liturgical worship services that happen in Lutheran congregations. Today, some LCMS congregations call that worship “Divine Service”. I had images of Lutheran clergy leading bible studies, etc. I did not have images of pastors presiding over a worship service. At least not yet.
Over the years, I had gotten to know my pastors and the work that they do both that which is seen and that which might be a little obscure. Celebrating the liturgy and presiding over Holy Communion is just part of the working life of a pastor. Preaching is a part of it.
One of the things that pastors love to do is visiting. Pastors bring the bread and wine; the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to the sick, the elderly and shut-ins. At this, they bring the assurance of hope to the dying.
The title “pastor” stems from the latin meaning “shepherd”. the chief pastor of the church is Jesus Christ. After all, He is the Good Shepherd.
Pastors are often caught up in the dirty work of the day-to-day affairs of the congregation. That part is the most taxing. The business of the church is people. Imperfect human beings who are often stubborn unsupportive to change, etc. So I pray for my pastors and the valuable work that they do.