Reflection: Imperfect pastors
“Ex opere operato” is a useful Latin tag which means that Communion (or the Lord’s Supper) does not derive its value from the worth of the minister leading it, but is independent of him or her – it brings Christ to mind and heart.
The same may be true of preaching. You may have been taught by a minister who was later found to be morally deficient. Although your memories may be tinged with sadness and shock, God’s promises and truth remain whole. The Word of God is not bound by the weaknesses of the preachers you encounter.
The Jews in the synagogue in the town of Berea in Acts 17 are a good example for us. They were preached to by Paul and Silas, yet they “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” It is our responsibility to do the same.
Most of us can praise God for our faithful pastors, who bring us both the Word and sacraments. I hope that is the experience of most who read this devotion.
Prayer: Father, I pray for all who have been hurt or betrayed by a minister or pastor. May they feel lifted up and comforted in your arms today. Thank you for all faithful pastors and teachers. Please continue to shape and gift them to shepherd your people with integrity.