24 January 2008

Festival of St. Timothy, Pastor and Confessor

Today our Synod remembers, and gives thanks to God for, St. Timothy. He joined the apostolic mission in Acts 16:1-5. It is striking that it is AFTER the Jerusalem Council where the Apostle Paul fought against those who insisted that a person be circumcised to be a Christian, St. Paul has St. Timothy circumcised to further his mission among the Jews. What he would not and could not give into as a demand, he freely employed when it served the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Christ.

St. Paul refers to St. Timothy as "my beloved child" and "my true child in the faith." He praises St. Timothy's grandmother Lois and mother Eunice for passing on the faith to him, and he reminds St. Timothy that from childhood he has been familiar with "the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

The collect for this day asks God always to give His Church pastors like St. Timothy to guide and feed the flock, making those pastors diligent in preaching the Word and administering the means of grace, and giving to the people wisdom to follow in the way that leads to eternal life.

"Therefore with patriarchs and prophets, apostles and evangelists, with Your servant Timothy, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Your glorious name..."

1 comment:

Brian P Westgate said...

What surprises me is that this feast wasn't instituted until the time of Clement VIII, who died 100 years after Luther. Of course St. Titus had to wait 210 years after Clement died to have his festival, Feb. 6, instituted. . . . I wonder why it took so long for the church to include feasts for these two, as well as Barnabas?