Mentors from the Parsonage
Friday of Easter 5
19 May 2017
Those who mentor us are crucial to our future. All of us remember a teacher who kept our noses to the grindstone. I am grateful to Miss Henderson, my third grade teacher, who would not tolerate my wide lazy streak. She kept me after school until I learned the grammar and spelling of basic written English. She made me repeat my lessons until I had written them right. I didn't much like it at the time, but I got over it. God sends our pastors, teachers, parents, and other authorities to be his divinely appointed mentors in the world. This is why those in positions of authority must pay some attention to their example in the world. There are people watching them, even if only out of the corner of their eyes. Just when you think no one is watching, just then you will mislead someone who needed a good example.
                                     
This is especially the case for those whom God has appointed to teach the Word of God. When those whom we respect and love faithfully believe and confess the truth of the Word, then we are unlikely to join in the ridicule and mockery of those who hate the divine truth. We will not be taken in by the seeming erudition of the rebels against God's inscripturated compassion. Our spiritual fathers (2Ki 2:12) in the faith have brought us up in Christ. We know an enemy when we hear one. We recognize a lie when it greets us with a smile. We can distinguish the counterfeit from the true coin of the realm. Thank God for that harried Sunday School teacher, geeky pastor, or authoritarian parent that led us into the still waters and green pastures of God's Word (Ps 23:2). Such fathers represent our heavenly Father (Ex 20:12).
 
Verbum Domini manet in aeternum, "The Word of the Lord endures forever," is the motto of Concordia Publishing House, publishing arm of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. God's Word has endured through all generations. It has undergone vicious and sometimes unbalanced criticism for the last 2,000 years. Yet, it still endures, while, to their eternal sorrow, its long dead critics now know better. Friedrich Nietzsche, the child of a Lutheran parsonage, was the originator of the modern "God is dead" movement. However, his announcement of the death of God turned out to be premature. About him the fabled graffiti read: "Nietzsche says, 'God is dead.'" Below some wag scribbled: "God says, 'Nietzsche is dead.'" So shall the ending be for all those who are determined to bury God. Christ lives. Nietzsche does not. Thank God for those who kept the faith of the Lutheran parsonage.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Martin Luther
 
"We must be on our guard with all diligence and always cling to God's Word, on which this article is based. There it has now stood 1,500 years and survived. It has indeed been attacked by many babblers and mockers, but it has never been toppled or crushed, whereas all of these vanished together with their prattle and died, and no one speaks of them or remembers them any longer. This article, however, still remains and stands as it was proclaimed by the dear apostles and was believed by Adam and all the fathers and saints. And it will be proclaimed as long as the world stands, up to the time when it is materialized and experienced. We will cling to it and disregard that there are a few also among us who speak so venomously about it and mock it. We will take comfort in the fact that they are not worthy of it, and dismiss them as blind leaders of the blind. That is what Jesus called the Pharisees (Mt 15:14). We will let them jabber until they have to stop. They have their reward. They cannot be punished more severely. For if they were worthy of it, they would also believe God's Word together with us. Therefore we say to them as St. Paul did to his fellow Jews: "Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46).
 
"However, you must thank God for granting you the grace, for calling you to this understanding, and for making you worthy of believing it. Let those people go their way with their mocking, their carousing and swilling and living like hogs that wallow among the husks and fatten themselves until they are slaughtered.
 
"You can resist and protect yourself against all sorts of injurious poisons by saying: 'I will hear what God's Word says and abide by that; because it is a useful and saving Word, given by God, which has, moreover, endured since the beginning of the world and will endure to its end. It is superior to such loose prattling. I will follow the example of a pious daughter who, hearing an unchaste tongue, or incited to unchastity by a vile prostitute says: "My dear mother did not teach me thus. I will rather follow her than another person, for she will surely not teach me anything bad." Or like a pious son who will not give ear to what every villain tells him to seduce him, he will say: "That is not right, for my dear father or teacher did not instruct me thus, etc." As these children conform their lives to the words of the parents and as they conduct themselves over against such poison, lest it harm the heart, so a Christian must cling to the Word of God and reject such pagan and ungodly talk against faith and remain with that on which he was baptized and called, that which constitutes all of Christendom's faith and life.'" 

Martin Luther, Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15, 33
Psalm 105:1-15

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones! He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance." When they were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, saying, "Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!"   ( ESV)
Prayer
O Lord, keep us steadfast in the Word that endures forever, that we might never be ashamed of its humble glory. Give us the strength to reject the false teaching that leads away from the green pastures and still waters of Your Word. Thank You for our fathers in Christ. Lead us to be in our own turn faithful mentors in the Word for those who need leadership. Amen.
 
For all Sunday School teachers who offer themselves and their time for the instruction of the children of God, that they would rejoice in their service to the little ones
 
For President Matthew Harrison and First Vice President Herb Mueller of the LCMS, that the Lord Jesus would strengthen them in every good work unto the benefit of His holy church
 
For the graduates of the seminaries of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, that they would faithfully teach the Word of God to the church
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias   Resurrection (c. 1515)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
©  Scott Murray 2017