shepherding the shepherd
Why were some of us taught so little about the pastoral privilege and responsibility of conferring God’s blessing on his people? We’re preachers. We believe in the holy potency of God’s Word spoken. So it is with God-given words of blessing. It was one of the principal duties of the Old Testament priests: “to pronounce blessings in his name forever.”
Christians are meant to be restless people, like battle-weary soldiers awaiting their flight home or a bride a week before her wedding. It’s our job as pastors not to let them get too settled in their tents here. For that matter, not to let ourselves get too comfortable here either.
Pastors walk people to the edge of the world and watch them step away. With unbelievers I feel a kind of a dull thud. There is no grace left. God offered extravagant, measureless, priceless grace and they would have none of it. When believers step away, I feel wonder and a little bit of envy. I often think, What just happened here?
In Scripture, God entices us with glimpses of our future home without ever giving us the kind of
realtor’s details we’d like. We learn that, like the patriarchs, we live now in tents and are “looking
forward to a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”