Wednesday of the Week of Lent V
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 25:30-38; Romans 10:14-21; John 10:1-18
“But how are people to call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!’” (Rom 10:14-15).
When I was a child, it was the cherished role of the pastor and congregation to encourage young people to consider whether God might be calling them into ordained ministry. There is now a shortage of clergy in most every denomination. And why is that? Our increasingly secular culture. Fewer children and youth being raised in the Church. Rampant attitudes that believe everyone will go to heaven, regardless, so why be a preacher?
It is now time for pastors and congregations to once again become encouragers—finding those youths who seem to have the faith, the grounding, the passion for Jesus and the Word of God, such that they just might experience the call to ministry!
Besides my family and pastors, Clayton Huntington (of blessed memory) in my home congregation in Columbus, IN was always an “encourager.” He gave me a job every summer and holiday vacation in his hardware store so that I could put myself through eight years of college and seminary. Can you be a “Clayton Huntington” for some young person?
And why is this meditation part of our Lenten devotions? Even now, your pastor is hard at work preparing services and sermons for the Great and Holy Week, fast approaching. We need to be raising up pastors now, to serve the Church in the years to come. Who will preach the Word of God during Holy Week and Easter, if there are no preachers?
Prayer: Almighty God, call young people into ministry, that there will be pastors to preach the Word and administer the Sacraments in years to come! Amen.
Lenten Response: Encourage one young person in your congregation to consider ordained ministry—and thank your pastor for preaching the Good News!
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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