21 June 2020††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† †††† Zion Lutheran Church

Installation of Rev. Daniel Broaddus††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Edgerton, OH

 

Jesu Juva

 

ďMany Years, Many Pastors, One ShepherdĒ

Text: Isaiah 6:1-8; 1 Timothy 4:12-16;

2 Timothy 1:6-14; John 10:11-16

 

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

I could be wrong . . . but until April 29th, I donít think Pastor Broaddus had ever heard of Zion Lutheran Church of Edgerton, Ohio. On that day, he got put here. Today was not his idea. Or yours. It was our Lordís idea. To give you a pastor. This pastor. Yes, Pastor Broaddus said, like Isaiah, Here am I! Send me. But it was the Lord who sent him here. To you. The right pastor, in the right place, at the right time. To be the undershepherd of the Good Shepherd for you.

 

Just as He has sent you pastors for almost 175 years now . . . since before there even was a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. 175 years! That means through the Civil War, as you lost sons in World War 1 and World War 2, lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic and the Great Depression, and endured many struggles no one but the members of this church know. Through it all the Lord has blessed. Through highs and lows, joys and sorrows, you have remained in the care and keeping of your Good Shepherd. For just think about how many have been baptized here, how many fed our Lordís Body and Blood, how many escorted to their heavenly home by their pastor at their bedside. Our Lord is faithful and merciful, and has sustained you all these years. And not only sustained you but prospered you, mercied you, and used you to mercy others. And today we celebrate that once again.

 

So Pastor Broaddus, youíve one-upped me with your first call here! My first call was to a church in the midst of her 100th anniversary. Yours to a church on the cusp of her 175th! And youíll be standing on the shoulders of the many pastors our Lord put here before you.

 

Pastor Broaddus is a man of many gifts. The Lord has richly blessed him with many talents and abilities, and he received even more when the elders, his fellow pastors, laid their hands on him and prayed for him last weekend in his ordination. But what will make him a good and faithful undershepherd of the Good Shepherd for you is not what makes him different from the other pastors you have had, but what makes him the same - that he will speak the Word of the Lord. Thatís why the Lord put him here. And so the voice you will continue to hear is the voice youíve heard all along, for some 175 years now. The undershepherds change, but the Chief Shepherd, the Good Shepherd - and his Word - never does.

 

So Pastor Broaddus will follow the pattern of sounds words that he has heard, that have been passed down to him, as they were to the pastors before him. And he will preach and teach this Word. He will, as Paul instructed Timothy, devote himself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. That is what he promised last weekend in his ordination, and what he will promise you today. To know nothing but the Word of the Good Shepherd, and to speak, to preach, to teach that to you.

 

But I have to be honest with you: there will be times when you wonít want him to speak that Word. Times when you want not a Good Shepherd but a mute shepherd. When he calls you to repentance; when it is your sins, your pet sins, the sins you really donít want to let go of, in the crosshairs of his preaching. When he points out false gods that have crept into your life; wolfish deceptions that have jumped the fence to wreak havoc among you. When that Word goes against what the world is saying and the direction the culture is going, and seducing you to follow. But the words you wonít want to hear may even be words of Gospel - when Pastor Broaddus absolves someone you donít think should be forgiven - you wonít want to hear it.

 

And I have to be honest with you in this, too: there will be times when he wonít want to speak that Word! When it will be easier to just not rock the boat, to preach only what you want to hear, to avoid the thorny issues, and to say what will make others think well of him.

 

But that is not why the Lord put him here. When you heard the readings from Paulís letters to Timothy today, you know Paul was telling that to Timothy, too. Itís not going to be easy. But, he said, devote yourself to this . . . practice these things . . . persist in this . . . do not be ashamed. Because by so doing, Paul told Timothy, you will save both yourself and your hearers. Because there is only one Word that can save: the Word of God made flesh. The Word of God who died for you and lives for you. Who bought you with His own blood. Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And that is the One Pastor Broaddus will preach. Every Sunday and every day.

 

So Pastor Broaddus will not flee like an uncaring shepherd and he will not be mute. But from the pulpit, at the font, before the altar, in confession, in your homes, beside your hospital bed, on the street, in the coffee shop, to young and to old, he will speak the Word. And as it has for some 175 years now, that Word will be your rock. In the midst of a world of sin and death, confusion and fear, that Word will be your comfort. Because that Word is the truth. The truth that you have forgiveness for your sins, a life that not even death can end, and hope when it seems that there is very little in this world you can count on.

 

That Word is his only tool. But it is the only tool he needs. For though it look weak, as the Word made flesh looked weak on the cross, it is actually the most powerful thing on earth. For that Word created all things, healed the sick, cleansed lepers, welcomed the outcast, forgave great sinners, expelled demons, and raised the dead. And it is still doing so here, for you. The voice belongs to a man, but the Word and power are the Lordís.

 

And this too is the Lordís - the love He has given Pastor Broaddus for you. I canít really explain it any other way, except that this is one of the gifts given to him by our Lord when his fellow pastors laid their hands upon him and prayed for him. For already he loves you. Even though he doesnít really know you. Already he wants only the best for you. Already he is ready to lay down his life for you. He is no hired hand who cares nothing for the sheep. He is a shepherd. Your shepherd. Who is not only going to stand before you here, but get down on his knees for you in prayer. And heíll need your prayers. For the wolf he wonít flee from is going to turn against him. Hard. So pray for him.

 

And forgive him. For as you know, heís going to make mistakes. Maybe from loving too little; maybe from loving too much. But thatís what happens when sinful men are placed into a holy office - like Isaiah. But the Lord provided what Isaiah needed - the burning coal from the altar which touched his unclean lips and atoned for his sin. And He will provide what both you and Pastor Broaddus and his family need - the sweet words of forgiveness, the comforting words of the Gospel, and not a burning coal, but the Body and Blood of Jesus to touch your lips and take away your guilt. For Pastor Broaddus is not the only sinner in a holy office here, so are you. All of you in the holy office of the priesthood of the baptized. That, too, was the Lordís doing. And so just as Pastor Broaddus is a gift from the Lord to you, so are you to him. And though I canít really explain it any other way, I believe the Spirit has given you love for him already, too. Even though you donít yet know him. But the love of Bride and Bridegroom, of Christ and His Church, is here. In him and in you.

 

As it has been for some 175 years here. Which is a long time for us, but just a drop in the bucket of Godís time. We donít even know whatís going to happen over the next 175 days! Will there be more social unrest and protests in our country? A second wave of Covid? A new president? And what will happen to each of you personally? And in your families? What joys? What sorrows? What challenges?

 

But what we do not know, our Lord does. And He, in His mercy and grace, has put Pastor Broaddus here to be with you through it. So that you hear the voice of your Good Shepherd, your Saviour, who is the rock solid foundation in the midst of a very uncertain and changing world. But the victory belongs to us, no matter what the world or satan can throw against us. The empty tomb proves it. And your empty tomb will prove it as well. When on the Last Day there will be one flock and one shepherd, with the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, around the throne of the Lamb in His kingdom. For 175 years, youíve been praying for that day, and youíve had pastors proclaiming that day. And just maybe for 175 more.

 

So Pastor Broaddus, welcome. And preach that Word of confidence and hope. In this place named Zion - the name of the place where God dwells with His people.

 

In the Name of the Father, and of the (+) Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.