It was exactly 21 years ago that through the laying on of hands, I was ordained into the office of the holy ministry. The ordination took place at the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew in Wheaton, Maryland, the same Church where I had been baptized and confirmed. The preacher was my vicarage pastor, George Plvan, and the ordinator was District President Rich Hinz (whose son, Paul, was confirmed with me at St. Andrew years before and whose son, John, was a classmate at Concordia Bronxville).
Thinking back over the years, I am grateful, humbled and astonished that God would have placed me into this holy office - do I ever resonante to the words of Luther's sacristy prayer! Their truth rings deeper in my soul with each passing year:
O Lord God, dear Father in heaven, I am indeed unworthy of the office and ministry in which I am to make known Your glory and to nurture and serve this congregation.
But since You have appointed me to be a pastor and teacher, and the people are in need of the teaching and instruction, be my helper and let Your holy angels attend me.
Then if You are pleased to accomplish anything through me, to Your glory and not to mine or to the praise of men, grant me, out of Your pure grace and mercy, a right understanding of Your Word and that I may also diligently perform it.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, shepherd and bishop of our souls, send Your Holy Spirit that He may work with me to will and to do according to Your divine strength according to Your good pleasure. Amen. (Pastoral Care Companion, p. xviii)