Summary: All pastors are temporary. There is only one permanent pastor, the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

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Mark 1:14-20 E3B 1/25/09 Hope Lutheran, Plainwell

Pr. Dale B. Krueger

One Leader and Many Followers

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the gospel.” 16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him.19 As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets.20 Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Fifty-six years ago, in 1953, I was in my second semester at the seminary. The pastor of my home congregation, Trinity Lutheran in Faribault, Minnesota invited me to preach my first sermon on Easter Sunday, at all three services, one of which was broadcast over the radio. Imagine that, he asked me to preach the Gospel on the highest Sunday of the Church Year. Among the thousand people at worship that day were my father and my mother, my sisters and brother, uncles and aunts, cousins, the kids I went to school with and their parents, our teachers, the guys I had played basketball and softball with, the people for whom I was the paper boy. It was like I was a 21 year old rookie preacher send to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded. Dear Pr. Lemke must have had confidence that I wouldn’t strike out.

I don’t claim to have a direct line to the Holy Spirit. But sometimes I look back and say, “Oh, it was You God behind all that.” You wanted all those people to affirm that You had called me to preach the Gospel as a pastor in your church. And so that is what I have been doing for the past 56 years, and that is what I have come to do in your midst.

You may think that my being in your midst is certainly temporary. Yes it is! At this point you have rented me to the end of February. But all pastors are temporary, whether they be senior pastors, associate pastors, assistant pastors, assistant to the pastor pastors, emeriti pastors, supply pastors, guest pastors, campus pastors, visitation pastors, vacancy pastors, intentional interim pastors. All these pastors are temporary. There is only one permanent pastor, the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. I am a very temporary pastor in your midst pointing to Him as I proclaim the Gospel of the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ.

A father was filling out an application form for his daughter who was seeking entrance to a very exclusive college. He came to the question on the form which asked whether the applicant was a leader. In honesty he wrote, "No, but she is a good follower." The application was sent in and a month later a letter arrived notifying him that his daughter had been accepted. At the bottom of the page the dean had written, "Since the entering class of 500 has 499 leaders, we thought that there ought to be room for one follower."

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