Four years ago today, I was ordained into the office of holy ministry. On April 26, 2005 when I received my first call to be a pastor, President Wenthe read these words to the men who had just received calls:
Go, then, take heed unto thyself and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghose hath made thee an overseer, to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. Feed the flock of Christ, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lord over God’s heritage, but being an example to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, thou shalt receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. The Lord bless thee from on high and make thee a blessing unto many, that thou mayest bring forth fruit, and that thy fruit may remain unto eternal life. Amen. (The Lutheran Agenda, p. 109)
These words are a very tall order. They should put the fear of God into a man who has received a call into the office, for it is indeed a very important office which we undertake. These last four years have been challenging, both on a personal and spiritual level. However, if asked if I would trade my vocation for that of another, my answer would wholeheartedly be no.