Thursday, May 17, 2007

What does a Pastor do?

I was watching The Office season finale tonight and saw a commercial for a new movie called Knocked Up. The title is totally self-explanatory. It's about out-of-wedlock sex and childbirth. My first thought was, "How could I use this to scandalize my congregation to the world?"

But then I stopped. Is that what a pastor does? I have heard several sermons from Lutheran pastors that railed against the evils of the world. I'm not sure that this is the point of a pastor's ministry. If we only point out the sins of the world we are missing the point of the call. I have been called to a congregation. They know the evils of the world. What they do not always remember so well are the sins of the self. To jump on the Evangelical-Fundamentalist bandwagon of pointing out the sins of the world is to do a great disservice to those saints who need to hear the personal Law and the personal Gospel. The Law that comes to them directly and calls them what they are: sinners. The Gospel that comes to them in their sinful state and forgives their personal sins.

Yeah, a movie called Knocked Up is a bad sign of where our culture is headed, but to stand in the house of God and thank Him that we are not like those sinners is to fall into the most wily and deadly trap of Satan: to take our eyes off of Christ and Him crucified for US.

That is what a Pastor does, in my inexperienced, newbie position. A Pastor feeds the flock that he has been called to with the heavenly food of Word and Sacrament that our Good Shepherd has given us.


jWinters said...

Hey Jim,
Nice post here. I think matrixing this and the upcoming Robin Williams movie "License to Wed," would be interesting. I'm sort of cringing at this movie because I'm afraid people won't want to come to us for premarital counseling anymore if it turns out bad ---- but ---- maybe I can hope that Williams' Episcopalian roots might make the whole process look good overall.


Jim Roemke said...

Thanks Jay and Hapy Graduation to you too!!
I haven't seen much about "License to Wed," but I will probably see it because it has John Krasinski in it. It will be interesting to see how clergy are portrayed. I always find that interesting. Hollywood really seems to like the collared clergy, I guess vestments and stuff look better on the big screen.