"Clergy Appreciation Day" is always the second Sunday in October (this year it's October 11th, 2015) and October is generally celebrated as "Pastor Appreciation Month" (universally throughout Christ's Church regardless of denomination). In addition, October 31st is also when we Lutherans celebrate "Reformation Day" too.
With that in mind, please take some time to thank your Pastor and to meditate upon God's work through Martin Luther on that very first Reformation Day nearly 500 years ago. Better yet, do that and talk about it with your children and grandchildren too!
To help, here's an excellent free resource that Concordia Publishing House (CPH) put out recently that you and your family can use to "appreciate" the faithful Pastor that God has given you.
Trust me, they are quickly becoming few-and-far-between I'm afraid (me and my family sadly know this from first-hand, personal and recent experience!).
You might be thinking, "Why in the world should I thank my Pastor for...doing his job!?!"
My dear friends, being a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments, and servant of Christ Jesus, is not "just a job" like any other! Pastors are called by God Himself to be the caretakers of our souls.
Perhaps this brief video will help to give you a better understanding of why Pastors need our constant prayers and support and not just one day day or during one month of the year.
That was a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of just one Pastor. Folks, there are many more just like him. Again, please take a moment to thank God for your Pastor, and then go back and check out CPH's calendar shared above for ideas on how you can encourage him.
Seriously, don't take this (or him) for granted! My family and I searched far and wide throughout the local area and it took us nearly 2.5 years to find a truly faithful Pastor who is trying to do the right things at the church the Lord has entrusted to his care (i.e., preach Law and Gospel; teach the Book of Concord to his parishioners; etc.) despite finding himself in a situation that may not be all that conducive to such things.
When you've gone as long as we had without hearing the Word of God preached faithfully and without the Sacraments being distributed rightfully, you really come to appreciate it when the Lord blesses you with a man that does what He expects him to do.
Now, just as important as a faithful Pastor is faithful catechism.
So, since October is also when we Lutherans celebrate the Reformation, we should spend extra time making sure we not only teach, but reinforce the basics.
Thankfully, CPH also distributed a handy list of great ideas for Lutheran Teachers to do just that too! Check this out...
Those are some very easy (and fun) things you can do at school and at home to help teach your students and your family about the Reformation.
In a Lutheran layman's terms, not only is the Reformation "the cornerstone of our Lutheran faith" but Pastors are truly "'on call' 24 hours a day, seven days a week" and we need to regularly thank God for both.
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!