Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mixed Feelings

For the last 9 months or so, I've been helping fill the vacancy at Lamb of God Lutheran Church, where my wife and I hold congregational membership. It has really helped me regain my confidence that, despite everything that happened to me in Kansas as well as the unfortunate situation regarding my wife's employment at a certain church-affiliated daycare in Kenosha (more about those situations in another post if anyone is interested), I can do a good job as a preacher and pastor. My current full-time job is as an optician at Visionworks, which is a trade I enjoy, but it's not really who I am, if that makes sense. And so helping out at Lamb of God, preaching every other Sunday and assisting with readings and distribution the other Sundays, has been a real blessing for me.

Lamb of God has extended three calls so far during the vacancy. The first was to Ralph Tausz of Apostles' in Melrose Park, IL, the second to William Cwirla of Holy Trinity in Hacienda Heights, CA. The most recent was to Sean Smallwood at St. Matthew in Calgary, AB. This past Sunday it was announced that Fr. Smallwood has decided to accept our call to be our pastor. This is an occastion of great joy both to Lamb of God, which is getting a fine confessionally Lutheran pastor, as well as for Fr. Smallwood (not to mention Fr. Peperkorn, who has been handling the catechesis and daily chapel duties at the academy all by himself this school year).

It is also an occasion of great joy to me, as we will once again have a full-time pastor to preach, teach, and absolve us. However, there is the sadness that I will not be preaching and administering the Sacrament nearly as often as I am now. I can see in retrospect that having Fr. Grenyo and me as CRM-status ordained members has been part of God's plan for Lamb of God, so that the Word may continue to be preached and the Sacraments administered during this vacancy. However, my flesh can't help but wonder what is in store once Fr. Smallwood is installed. I really would like to continue preaching and administering the Sacraments, but the opportunities (largely "pulpit supply" when area pastors are on vacation) will likely be few and far between for a while.

I know that God has in mind what is best for His undershepherds, including those on CRM status, but my flesh isn't too happy about the fact that I don't know what's going to happen now. The Word of God, the Sacraments, and the mutual consolation of the brethren will sustain me through this time as well. This I know because He has promised this to His baptized children.