Being a pastor is sometimes like nothing else in the world.
All callings are noble, because all of us, whatever our vocation, are called by the king of glory to reflect his glory in all that we do. But as pastors we speak on behalf of, in the name of, our great and glorious king. We are called to administer his kingdom and to shepherd his royal flock with a noble character resembling our lord. We bear regal responsibilities, as honorable as they are humbling.
And so pastoring is also a privilege. As David was called from tending the literal flock to become the shepherd of God’s people, we too get called up to the big leagues of caring for those who bear the image of our great shepherd. While others get but one Sabbath per week, every day of every week we are called to be in the word and prayer. From high atop the mount of God’s revelation we get to proclaim a majestic view of his promised land to sinners still standing on this side of glory.
And yet the noble privileges of this high calling are attended with burdens none but ourselves and our God can know. As with other guilds – cops, artists, politicians – there’s a lot that goes into what we do that those we serve will never know. Our own and others’ failings, along with general human dullness and depravity, are all amped up in their intensity by the eternal weight of glory bound up in our labors. Compassion and confusion and the ever-present not-yet of redemption as often as not can siphon off our joy and wonder and love. And so, while being a pastor is sometimes like nothing else, at other times it can feel as soul-numbing and unrewarding as the most mundane and menial job you can imagine.
Which is why we need to encourage one another daily, even right this moment. Which is why we need to comfort one another with the comfort with which we ourselves have been comforted, so we can together glorify and enjoy our merciful savior, and help others to know his love that surpasses knowledge. What do say? Shall we?