It’s Friday, so our attention turns to the Augsburg Confession. This week, we hear what the Church believes, teaches, and confesses regarding Order in the Church. It’s very short, but very clear. Only a regular called Pastor shall serve, and carry out the duties of, the Office of the Pastor. Makes sense, right? Enjoy!
Collect of the Week (Proper 12-C)
O Lord, let Your merciful ears be attentive to the prayers of Your servants, and by Your Word and Spirit teach us how to pray that our petitions may be pleasing before You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Article XIV (Order in the Church)
Our churches teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church, or administer the Sacraments, without a rightly ordered call. (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. Edited by Paul Timothy McCain. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2005, S. 39).
When this article speaks of a rightly ordered call, it refers to the Church’s historic practice of placing personally and theologically qualified men into the office of preaching and teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments. No one in the Church can take such authority for himself or bestow such authority on his own. The ministry is conferred by means of a formal, public, and official call from the Church. At the time this article was presented, it was understood that a minister’s first call is publicly ratified and confirmed by means of prayer and the laying on of hands, ordination, a practice that dates back to the time of the Apostles. In the Lutheran Confessions, “ordination” is a term often used as shorthand for both the call and ordination. (See also Ap XIV; SA III X.) (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. Edited by Paul Timothy McCain. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2005, S. 38).
Almighty, everlasting God, for our many sins we justly deserve eternal condemnation. In Your mercy You sent Your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who won for us forgiveness of sins and everlasting salvation. Grant us a true confession that, dead to sin, we may be raised up by Your life-giving absolution. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may be ever watchful and live true and godly lives in Your service; through Jesus Christ, our Lord (LSB, collect #153).