Posts tagged Ordination
The last Sunday in August, my brother, Pastor Tim Mueller of New Minden, IL, preached for the ordination of his son, Jacob, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Emma, Missouri. Another brother, Pastor Bill Mueller of Fort Wayne, IN, was also there. As part of his sermon, Tim pulled out a slip of paper that our mother had sent him to give to Jacob, in part because Jacob and his grandfather (also a pastor, now sainted) had shared the same birthday, February 6.
This was not just any slip of paper. It was the back side of a hospital menu sheet from July 1970. Our mother had carried this slip, encased in plastic, in her wallet for 42 years. Now she wanted Jacob, her grandson, the newly minted pastor, to have it. The only thing of any value on the slip was, in our father’s hand, a scripture reference – 1 Timothy 1:15. That was it. That was the precious thing she carried for 42 years.
Why? July 1970 was a terrible month. Dad was in intensive care with what they believed was some kind of bacterial infection of the heart. That particular day he appeared to be at death’s door. When he gave the slip to my mother, he couldn’t speak, but she knew that Dad meant it for the text of his funeral sermon.
By God’s grace (and much to the amazement of his doctors) he recovered that time and God gave us 26 more years with him. When we did celebrate the life of Christ in his life at his funeral in 1996, 1 Timothy 1:15 was the text. But Mom still carried the slip for all these 42 years. And now she wanted Jacob to have it, because it was the text that typified my father’s ministry for more than 50 years. She was unable to come for the ordination, but she sent it with her prayers that it would be the same for Jacob.
What does it say? “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). That’s the ministry – one sinner bringing to other sinners the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation in Jesus. May that be the center of every pastor’s service with God’s people, including, especially, mine!
+ Herbert Mueller
First Vice President, LCMS
In many ways it is not easy for me to blog about personal events. I don’t want to be seen as putting myself forward and much of the time the personal events of our lives are rather banal. But this one was different! Way different! This was a great blessing from God!
On Sunday, April 10, 2011, I had the honor (humbling as it was) to preach for the installation of my son, Pastor Bert Mueller, as Pastor of St. Peter and Grace Lutheran Churches in Westgate and Fayette, Iowa, in an afternoon Vespers Service. President Matthew Harrison was also there for the installation and to preach for the Matins Service at St. Peter’s Sunday morning. That’s because St. Peter’s was President Harrison’s first parish, which he served from 1991 to late 1995.
In the morning President Harrison preached on the Gospel, from John 11, regarding the life-giving power of Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life. It was precious Gospel, clear and comforting for repentant sinners.
For the installation, I drew my sermon from 1 Peter 1:22-25, with the theme: “Speaking the Eternal Word.” God places men into the pastoral office and gives them His Word to speak, because: 1) Everyone who believes in Jesus has been born anew through the living and abiding Word of God. 2) The Word of God does what it says – the Law condemns to death, but in the Gospel Jesus gets the last word, bringing life and forgiveness. 3) This is the Word Christ gives to His Church and gives Pastors to speak on behalf of all, for God has determined to reveal Himself and to bring life through the Word of the cross and resurrection. 4) This Word of God will last forever, and also makes us last forever, through the resurrection to eternal life. May God bless all pastors and keep them faithful in the proclamation of His Word of Life.
A second picture includes President Brian Saunders of the Iowa District East; Vice President Herb Mueller; Pastor Bert Mueller; and President Matthew Harrison, President of Synod.