Monday, April 27, 2009

Pulpit Rider

I don't get to preach every Sunday, but this month and the next few months I'll be pretty busy with pulpit supply. It's not the same thing as being a parish pastor, of course, but it's always a privilege and a pleasure to preach the Word to God's people. Yesterday I preached at Grace Lutheran Church in Houma, Louisiana. I'm a member at this church, and the members know me and generally respect me. I helped serve the vacancy they experienced after the previous pastor left, and now that they have their own pastor, they welcome me joyfully when Pastor Rudnik goes on vacation.

One of the things the people of the congregation especially like about the days when I preach is that I chant. In all modesty, leading the liturgy is one of the things I do best as a pastor, and that includes chanting. I believe it adds to the solemnity and the joy of the divine service, and it serves to dileneate between what we do during the week out in the world and what happens on Sunday morning in the divine service. I don't know if the congregation sees it that way, but I do. Anyway, we used the First Setting of the Divine Service from the Lutheran Service Book, and I don't get to use that very often.

Perhaps the best part of the morning for me, outside of receiving absolution and the body and blood of Jesus, was that I was able to give the Eucharist to my wife for the first time! This is the first time Faith has been able to come to a church where I've been preaching since she became a Lutheran, and it was an occasion of special joy for me. May it always be so.

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