Reading: 1 Peter 5:1–5
This reading from 1 Peter really puts us as church workers in our place, doesn’t it? This is geared specifically towards shepherds (pastors), but would seem to apply to any who have leadership or authority in the church. The message is clear: “Be humble!”
For those of us in the pastoral office or headed on that route, the message extends: you are not THE shepherd. You are undershepherds. We serve the Chief Shepherd, Christ. Do not be domineering of the flock that Jesus has entrusted to your care, because it is not your flock, it is His flock.
For all of us Christians, we are all partakers in the sufferings of Christ and the glory that is to come. In Baptism we were buried with Christ in death and raised again to life. This new life is one of service to one another, not of self-gain or abuse of power. We daily drown the old Adam and the new Adam is clothed in “humility toward one another” (v. 5).
Almighty God, Your Son humbled Himself for our sake. Grant that we, like Him, may humble ourselves toward you and toward one another, that we might joyfully receive the unfading crown of glory in the life that is to come; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Not unto us, not unto us be glory, Lord;
Not unto us but to Your name be praise;
Not unto us but to Your name all honor be giv’n
For matchless mercy, forgiveness, and grace. (LSB 558:1)
Joseph Highley (Sem IV, CSL)