I was recently asked to, and approved by the voters to, serve on my parish's Stewardship Committee. We had our first meeting last night. I joined LCMS and my parish last year, though we had been attending for a year or so before that instead of our WELS parish. So it was really good to be asked to serve and be able to serve in the life of our parish. And really good to go and do it.
There are a few passages in Luther's works which really stand out for me. One of them is in "To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation", where in the context of canonising saints, setting up shrines and having pilgimages, he says:
And let every man stay in his own parish; there he will find more than in all the shrines even if they were all rolled into one. In your own parish you will find baptism, the sacrament, preaching, and your neighbour, and these things are greater than all the saints in heaven, for all of them were made saints by God's word and sacrament.
What a beautiful gift to participate in that!
(The text is from Three Treatises. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970. p. 77. I guess a little income from pilgrimages to a shrine to our first pastor of blessed memory to boost receipts is out of the question, huh.)
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