Circuit Pastors’ Conference
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
“Born a Priest, Made a Pastor” (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16)
Today is Martin Luther’s birthday. He’s 532 today, although I’d say he doesn’t look a day over 490. Yes, it was on this day, November 10, in the year 1483, that Hans and Margaretha Luther had a baby boy, in the town of Eisleben, Saxony. The next day, November 11, that little squirming baby was taken to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, there in Eisleben, and he was baptized. Since it was November 11, the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, the boy was given the name Martin. Martin Luther, born November 10, baptized November 11, 1483.
So maybe we should be celebrating his birthday tomorrow, on the day he was baptized. For that was the day he was born again, born from above, born of water and the Spirit. That was the day he was given a name, not just the name Martin, but more importantly, the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The triune God placed his name on this child and claimed him as his own. On that day, his baptismal day, little Martin was called into the kingdom and became a priest.
“What?” you say. “I thought Martin Luther didn’t become a priest until much later.” Well, yes and no. Martin Luther was made a pastor, an ordained minister, many years later, as an adult. But he became a priest on the day he was baptized. And you know what? So did you. For every Christian is born a priest in Holy Baptism. And out of that priesthood of the baptized, some are later called to be pastors. So our theme this morning: “Born a Priest, Made a Pastor.”