There are a lot of good things about being in the body of Christ.
- Questions that provoke discussion during Bible class
- Hearing children belt out the Lord’s Prayer
- Kneeling at the Lord’s Table together
But there are also some rough things about being in the body of Christ.
- When pastors leave
I guess that list could get longer, but really, there are few things a Christian faces that are as tough as when their pastor leaves to take another call or retires or simply ceases to be their pastor.
Our pastors are our fathers in the faith, the ones who look out for our spiritual well being, who tell us what we don’t like to hear and what we need to, the ones who devote their lives to the care of our very souls.
No other job is like that of a pastor.
And that means that when a faithful pastor, a father, moves or leaves, even when it is to care for other children of God, it is still hard.
Now the congregation learns from a new pastor, and over time, and as he cares for them, the difficulty lessens. They may still call their old pastor “my pastor,” but now he is pastor to others. Slowly, the new pastor becomes “my pastor” too, and he tells them what they don’t like to hear and what they need to, just like the one who came before him.
And so the Church goes.
There are some really good things about being in the body of Christ. And there are some really rough ones too. But the sadness of saying goodbye to a good pastor, to a spiritual father, to a faithful shepherd who delights to care for wandering sheep means that he did what the Lord had for him to do, and perhaps, if we’re still putting things into lists, that’s not so rough after all.