21 years ago President Ernst-August Albers assisted by Bishop Georg Schulz DD and President emeritus Gunter Scharlach and various brothers from both FELSiSA, LCSA and SELK/LKM ordained me into the holy office of the pastoral ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Wittenberg, Mpumalanga.
God is good and his apostle is so right: Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer , he desires a noble task. (1Ti 3:1 NIV) Πιστὸς ὁ λόγος. Εἴ τις ἐπισκοπῆς ὀρέγεται, καλοῦ ἔργου ἐπιθυμεῖ. (1Ti 3:1 BGT) For us Germans Luther has translated that most appropriately: Das ist je gewißlich wahr, so jemand ein Bischofsamt begehret, der begehret ein köstlich Werk. (1Ti 3:1 L45)
And together with the holy Christian Church we teach and confess, that this office was instituted by God himself to create saving faith through the gospel and sacraments for: Through these, as through means, he gives the Holy Spirit who produces faith, where and when he wills, in those who hear the gospel. It teaches that we have a gracious God, not through our merit but through Christ’s merit, when we so believe.” (CA V,2-3)
Praise God’s word and calling with me by joining in the hymn we so often sing at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane: “God’s Word is our great heritage And shall be ours forever; To spread its light from age to age Shall be our chief endeavour. Through life it guides our way, In death it is our stay. Lord, grant, while worlds endure, We keep its teachings pure Throughout all generations.” (Nikolai Fredrik Severin Grundtvig, 1783-1872 tr O.G. Belsheim 1861-1925.