Year of Scripture – Pastoral Epistles

Readings for:
Day 349 – Sunday, December 15: I Timothy
Day 350 – Monday, December 16: II Timothy
Day 351 – Tuesday, December 17: Titus

In order to become ordained and serve as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) I had to undergo a lot of education and faith formation. Even with nearly 18 years in the ministry I can recall:

  • 4 years of undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati, where I received a BA in Sociology.
  • 2 years of MIC (Ministry in Context) which I did at the Campus Ministry at Ohio State University, under the guidance of Pastor David Hill.
  • 1 year of internship at St. Mark’s Lutheran in Yorktown VA, under the guidance of Pastor Gary Erdos.
  • 3 years of education at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, (now a part of Capital University) where I received an M.Div.
  • Social and Psychological evaluations
  • 3 months as a Hospital Chaplin which I did at Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus,
  • I’ve learned Greek, Hebrew, Latin. Studied intensively many books of the Bible, and had to write my own Systematic Theology Papers.
  • Along with a variety of interviews, essays, papers, and exams as part of the synod Candidacy Process.

Needless to say, I’ve got the years of education and training equivalent to many of the doctors you may be making appointments with as the winter crud continues to plague many this time of year. Needless to say, it’s a long and tedious process, and a process that Paul, Timothy and Titus didn’t have.

As the early church was filled with the Holy Spirit and quickly began to grow, move, and challenge the world, pastor’s were need. Leaders were needed, and they were needed quickly. Who is fit? Who is God calling? How are they to be used and serve the church? To answer that question, Paul writes these three letters to Timothy and Titus, which are often linked together as the “Pastoral Epistles.” Why, because throughout them, Paul gives guidance on who may be called to serve and the type of life they should life. These three letters would have been a crash course in theological training 2000 years ago.

Now some 2000 years later, it’s a bit more complex than reading and agreeing with Paul. Which in some way is unfortunate because many of the hurtles I had to jump through may very well be steering people away from faithful ministry. That being the case, ministry is still a calling worth considering! Most days it is a wonderful blessing, and those few challenging days, God gives constant guidance and wisdom. So ask yourselves, how is God calling you to minister out into the world?

Pastor Bailey

Upcoming Readings:
Day 352 – Wednesday, December 18: Hebrews 1 – 6
Day 353 – Thursday, December 19: Hebrews 7 – 10
Day 354 – Friday, December 20: Hebrews 11 – 13
Day 355 – Saturday, December 21: James
Day 356 – Sunday, December 22: 1 Peter
Day 357 – Monday, December 23: 2 Peter

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