If I love you more, am I to be loved less?” (2 Cor. 12:15 ESV)
A pastor’s work has a special importance associated with it because as 2 Cor. 12:15 says it is “for your souls.” Giertz puts it this way: “If there is anything that gives us the right to speak of the holy pastoral office and the motivation, why it is delivered with such solemn ceremonies before God and with great account before the eyes, then it is what Paul says here: that the service, the work, and the sacrifice is for “your souls”” (p. 40). A pastor is not to be primarily focused on his people having the best of the things of this world. A pastor is not out to help the bottom line of his peoples’ businesses and to pad the bank account. A pastor is not a physician who diagnosis and treats illness and disease. The pastor proclaims the Law and Gospel and administers the Sacraments. That is the great and wonderful task which God called the Apostle Paul to and which he was glad to be doing.
In Giertz’ message to those being ordained he says, “Dear young brothers, you who now shall be our brothers in the office, today I want to wish you much of the joy that is in the pastor’s vocation. But I will put ahead of all the wishes for you that which is perhaps the greatest joy: to also experience that suffering and toil, shame and agony can be a blessing from God, maybe even the richest and most fruitful in the pastor’s life” (p. 43). So with this task of caring for souls comes sacrifice but one that is with joy. The message concludes with a quote from 2 Timothy 2:10 which says, “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”