Expecting a new pastor is like a pregnancy in many ways. Each month of expectation triggers all kinds of imaginations both exciting and fearful. Exciting because you are about to receive into your spiritual family a person that you have likely never met before but expect new and exciting things from them. Fearful because you don’t know if you or they are prepared for the familial union you are about to get into. You wonder if the pastor will meet your expectations and conversely if you will meet theirs. Let me share with you about a man who expected something big from God and how he went about waiting for it. His name is Simeon and the promise he was waiting for was the coming of Messiah. (Luke 2:25-35) “Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying…”
1. Location for the waiting
Simeon was in Jerusalem because that is where he anticipated God to fulfill the promise. We are in St. Mary’s county not so much by choice (we might think so) but by God’s providence. It is here where He has placed Good Samaritan Lutheran Church. It is here where He will place a pastor whom He has been preparing for the future mission of Good Sam. So you are in the right place, and as they say during commercials on T.V., don’t go anywhere!
2. Occupation while waiting
When we think of occupation, we think of career, e.g. engineer, accountant, attorney, manager, nurse, doctor, etc. But occupation in the sense of Simeon was the mental expectation of the coming of Messiah and its spiritual implications. Our occupation right now is the coming of the pastor and what that will mean for Good Sam. I am guessing that God is preparing a good pastor to keep “good” in Good Sam.
3. Reaction when promise was fulfilled
“When the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying…”
Soon the Synod will send some names of candidates for the call committee to prayerfully consider. One of them is who God has prepared and our reaction to his/her coming should be one of praising God. The atmosphere of praise will inspire the pastor to do more than he or she may have prepared for.
With the MSP reaching its final stages, our pastoral search is in the homestretch. I hope the story of Simeon will be useful in our final preparation. I am grateful to be part of this process and I consider myself to be blessed as I benefit from this spirit of anticipation.
Together in Him,