Thursday, April 16, 2009

Did You Get The Order Right?

This Week's "In The Company of Calvin..."
"A rule is prescribed to all God's servants that they bring not their own inventions, but simply deliver, as from hand to hand, what they have received from God."
Pastors, Elders, Shepherds, and preachers have, without saying, the most awesome responsibility of all those who labor. Each week they have the God mandated task of feeding God's most precious sheep. As difficult as this task may be in a number of ways, the menu has already been planned and laid out for them.
There is no guess work nor room for any creativity in the menu. Much study, sweat, and supplication goes into the preparation of each meal in order to satisfy the hunger and needs of the flock. Like a waiter or waitress who takes from the chef that which has been prepared and then delivers it to the waiting table of those who are about to eat, pastors and preachers take the gloriously nutritious bounty prepared by God and delivers it without delay or deviation to the waiting flock.
J. H. Merle D'Aubigne observed, "In Calvin's view, everything that had not for its foundation the Word of God was futile and ephemeral boast; and the man who does not lean on Scripture out to be deprived of his title of honor. The preacher has nothing to say apart from Scripture." [1]
No diner at any eating establishment would tolerate the wait staff upon receiving an order from the cook or chef to change what was on the plate, either by adding to it or subtracting from it. Why then, each week, a number of precious, blood bought lambs of God tolerate the "wait staff" to play fast and loose with God's menu?
May we settle for nothing less than men who have been locked in their study until the fruit of prayer and preparation has been born and they are able to deliver to us "as from hand to hand what they have received from God!"
[1] J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the time of Calvin (1880; repr. Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle, 2000, 7:85

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