Edwards on the Ministry ()
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13.8
Many pastors today seek to model themselves and their ministries along the lines of whichever pastor and whatever church seem to be the most “popular” or “successful” in attracting people. The result is, increasingly, worship services are starting to look alike, and pastors are starting to preach alike. And those who aren’t are wondering what they might do to become more like everybody else.
We ought not model ourselves on our contemporaries, be they ever so “successful”. Such comparing and adjusting, Paul suggested, is not wise (2 Cor. 10.12). Jesus is our great model for ministry, and we should look to Him to wash, shape, enliven, empower, and employ every aspect of our lives and ministries for His glory.
In his sermon, “Christ the Example of Ministers”, Jonathan Edwards offered a concise summary of the reason people submit themselves for ordination to ministry: “The work and business of ministers is as it were that of servants, to wash and cleanse the souls of men: for this is done by the preaching of the word, which is their main business, Eph. v.26. ‘That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.’…it is the duty of ministers of the gospel, in the work of their ministry, to follow the example of their great Lord and Master.”
Elsewhere Paul talked about spending and being spent for the souls of God’s people (2 Cor. 12.15). The challenge that faces us who have accepted the call to ministry is to follow the example of Paul (1 Cor. 11.1) and strive to see Jesus, become like Jesus, work and serve like Jesus, lay down our lives like Jesus, and trust in Jesus to make our labors fruitful for His glory.
Resources for Shepherds
There is still time to register for the free online course, “Faith in the Faith”, a Scriptural study of the Apostles’ Creed, taught by Dr. Stan Gale. The course will be held bi-weekly via Zoom on Wednesdays, April 20 to June 29, from 3 pm to 4 pm Eastern time. Registration is open to all but limited to twelve. For a copy of the course syllabus, or to register for the course, click here.
From the Celtic Revival
Our present series in Crosfigell, our Tuesday and Thursday teaching letter, is exploring the unfolding of the Celtic Revival (ca. 430-800 AD) through the words of those who led it. Here is an excerpt from very early in the Celtic Revival, from Patrick’s Letter Against the Soldiers of Coroticus:
So earnestly I ask each servant of
the Lord, if he is willing, if the love
of God constrains him, bear this letter, so
that no one may pretend he does not know
what I have written; read these words aloud
in public, in the presence of the proud
Coroticus himself. Because if some
time God may in His mercy, let them come
unto their senses and return to Him,
repenting of their gruesome, cruel, and grim
iniquity – however late – if they
should come to hate their murderous way
of life, and set their prisoners free, then may
they know His mercy, and again obey
His Word, and by repentance show that they
have been restored unto Christ’s holy way.
Now, in the Father, Son, and Spirit, peace
be unto you, and may His grace increase.”
- Patrick, Letter against the Soldiers of Coroticus (5th century) 
Read more from the leaders of the Celtic Revival in recent issues of Crosfigell by clicking here.
T. M. Moore
We go through many seasons in our life, and not just those that mark the passage of a year. Our latest book of poems, Seasons, explains. Order your free copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Verse translation excerpts of Patrick’s Letter against the Soldiers of Coroticus from T. M. Moore, Celtic Flame (forthcoming).