How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
One after another, the names of cities and states across the country are read. Las Vegas, Lubbock and London (Arkansas!). Bemidji, Minnesota and Hobbs, New Mexico, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and Jacksonville Beach, Florida. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the names of men from our seminaries were read at the Call Day services and then came the names of the cities where they were assigned. With timid smiles on their faces, they walk forward in anticipation of hearing the name of the city read. Where are they being sent?
The reading of the name of the candidate, the congregation, and the city is ultimately a fulfillment of God’s plan for His people. It is a beautiful thing when God sends someone to preach the Good News! Each person’s name that was read comes after months of fervent prayers by God’s people who desire a pastor who will bring them the Good News of God’s love in Christ. From Bangor, Maine to Kapa’a, Hawaii, the people of God in our congregations gather together to hear the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection preached to them. Then, when a pastor is led away, they pray that the Lord of the Church would send someone else with beautiful feet to preach to them the Good News. The reading of the names and the seminaries happens after years of encouragement from pastors and parents, as a result of generous gifts of donors and support from congregations. While it may seem to have much to do with the students, it is really only another part of God’s plan for His people. Thanks be to God He keeps His promises and sends out laborers into the harvest field.
Likewise, each Spring, teachers, Directors of Christian Education, and Deaconesses receive their assignments of where they will serve in bringing the Word of God to bear in the lives of people. Their calling is also a way in which in God sends forth servants who will bring the Word to children and families, students and seniors. Whether sent to a school or an overseas mission, it is a beautiful thing as God sends His servants to far-flung fields to sow His seed.
This Sunday, pastors across Missouri will stand before congregations as the embodiment of God’s plan as they proclaim the Good News of sins forgiven and paradise restored. Pastors are not perfect, but they have beautiful feet because they have been sent by God to preach Good News. Let us rejoice that God does not abandon His people, but keeps His promise as He sends out heralds of His Good News message of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord!
Prayer – Almighty and gracious God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, You have commanded us to pray that You would send forth laborers into Your harvest. Of Your infinite mercy, give us true teachers and ministers of Your Word who truly fulfill Your command and preach nothing contrary to Your holy Word. Grant that we, being warned, instructed, nurtured, comforted and strengthened by Your holy Word, may do things which are well pleasing to You and profitable for our salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan