One of my favorite classes at the seminary was Dogmatics III with Dr. Masaki. This was due to two factors: (1) He’s a really good teacher, and (b) Since I was the only girl in a class of all guys, he let me bring brownies/cupcakes/sugar-in-general to class every Friday, which made the discussion even more intense than it was without obscene levels of glucose.
We spent a lot of time discussing AC XIV and the criticality of upholding the call, talking about the fact that, based on the words of our Lord, Lutherans can come to only one conclusion: the office is integral to the Church because it is the means by which pastors convey Christ’s Gospel to us, His children.
We talked the call, about how the pastoral office is all about Christ, about our Lord who desires to be present in and work through that office. We discovered that it is Jesus who calls men, Jesus who ordains, and Jesus who perpetuates that office, not the work of certain congregations or even the Church as a whole. We came to the realization that the Church cannot be anything other than an instrument of God, since He is its foundation.
We learned that, based on Christ’s mandate, given in Holy Scripture, about the uniqueness of the call, ultimately important because God desires to be there to do that ministry for you. In other words, “The real heart of the ministry is that God by His Spirit and His grace wants to be present with the ministry and through it work efficaciously” (Chemnitz).
And over caramel swirl brownies, we discovered that through the office, Christ continues to bestow forgiveness on each of His children. He has built His Church, He is the one who causes her to thrive, and He forgives her.
Yep. We figured it out eventually. He is the one who has done it all, and He does it well.