By Larry Frank
And so, as recalled recently by Pastor Scott Giger – the “Call Documents” have spoken again.
“We pray God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has moved us to extend our call to you, to convince you by his Holy Spirit that it comes from Him; to induce you to accept it; to conduct you safely in your field of labor; and to bless your ministrations to the glory of His holy name, the building of His church, the temporal and eternal welfare of many people, and your own great joy and blessing.”
But, since neither he or I are ever for at a loss for words, let’s unpack some of the celebratory words of this very welcome and outstanding message of …Great joy and blessing!
It is no secret that last week “psg” was very happy…..the picture above may elude to some of that joy. I even shared a few text messages with him (as did many others) about that very obvious “joy”. The sports metaphors used to describe that “joy” can only go so far but, in his case they go all the way to Boston. Also, the Red Sox made the “teamwork” required to get that feeling sure seem “easy”. They are a clubhouse full of “practical jokers”; they let teammates pull hard on a months long growth of “beard” (a crazy new form of high fiving); they wear funny hats and goggles; they have a “quiet” manager who celebrates their “professional self” – as long as you can cover the bag, or continuously throw only strikes with your three types of sliders (I admit I got tired of that observation), or swing with your hands behind the meat of the bat so you can hit the ball off of – or over the “green monster” (well, maybe that is really hard) – you see, sports “metaphors” can go on forever.
Outside of their joyful clubhouse, there are a couple of very familiar sports metaphors used by players, coaches, general manager’s and owners. They always recognize that “the fans provided the momentum – they were great”…”we did it for them.” So we the fans–even Tiger fans–maybe even all of baseball fans ….as a “team” we are included in the celebration – so, we all celebrate with “psg” and his beloved Red Sox team.
For our part, can the word “teamwork” – be positive and synonymous in celebration with the word “church”. Look again at the action words and phrases in the closing paragraph of the “call”….. do you see the teamwork required of the church (team) in the call.
“We pray… has moved us… to convince you… to induce you… to conduct you…to bless your… building of His church… welfare of many”…and most importantly – “your own great joy and blessing.”
The ownership of our team, they are in the other words: God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. These words unify our whole team – give our teamwork purpose.
The “call document” starts this way: “Having called on the Lord, our God, for guidance and in the exercise of the authority with which he has vested his church on earth, we, the members of St. Luke Lutheran Church, have elected you to the office of pastor.” Do you see…it’s our team.
So when we hear the cry–“playball”–it’s for ”your own great joy and blessing.” And our big guy too!