From the Pastor . . .


We just got back from my brother's retirement celebration in Florida. Many people rejoiced in the blessing he has been to them as their pastor for so many years. Even as God will provide a new pastor for them, he will be missed. That's a good thing. People should love the pastor God gives them. I'm sure he will be called on to fill in for other pastors as the need arises, but he will no longer be in the full-time pastoral ministry.

Some people I spoke with asked me about my own retirement. I told them the truth: that I haven't ever thought about it. In fact, it's not even really on my radar. Maybe someday in the future it will be, but for now, I cannot see not serving here where God has put me, doing those things He has given me to do, and speaking what He has given me to speak.

But I also starting thinking about the fact that while there are some vocations we might retire from, there are some we never retire from, like being a father, son, brother, husband, neighbor, friend, and the like. Sometimes vocations are taken away from us, when your spouse dies or you are no longer able to fulfill a particular vocation. There is a time for everything, Solomon once wrote in Ecclesiastes (chapter 3). But somehow and in some way, God will always use you as His blessing to others, as you love and care for those He has given to you, and as you receive their love. And yes, receiving love is a vocation too! And a hard one at that. It may indeed be more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), but if no one receives there is no one to give to!

So no matter how old you are, no matter how able or disabled, there is no retirement from being a child of God and a person God is using to provide for others. Your age changes, your abilities change, the people around you change, but your calling as a Christian never changes.  You are never too old or too young to love someone. You are never too old or too young to receive someone's love. And you are never too old or too young to pray for others, or speak a Word of God, His forgiveness, and His blessing. From this we never retire.

So how is God using you? How has this changed through the years? How might it change in the future? What does He have in store for you? Maybe you know, maybe you don't. But whatever the future holds, it will be good, for you are a child of God. And that's your vocation now and forever.

His servant and yours,

          Pastor Douthwaite

Saint Athanasius Lutheran Church
Missouri Synod
Church Location: 114 Kingsley Road SW, Vienna, VA  22180
Mailing Address: 3057 Nutley Street Suite 822, Fairfax, VA  22031
703-455-4003                       Rev. James Douthwaite, Pastor