...but the realization hits me anew: how unbelievably blest we've been with the recent publications from CPH. I compare to when I started in the ministry. We had a Synod quite divided over the hymnal (which, to be fair, had some very good points; and some very bad ones). We had an essentially Reformed Study Bible that we tried to "tweak" with a few "Lutheran" notes. We had a "daily prayer" office that relied on the NIV, featured no writings from the Fathers or the Confessions, used generally but two psalms A WEEK and was completely geared toward pastors only. There was no lectionary option for those who wanted the historic lectionary in the hymnal; the published lectionary was only three year, and was - pardon my crassness - as ugly as the hymnals themselves. Blue and spotted.
Look at what we have now, all of which is beautifully bound and presented:
A hymnal that is (for all its weaknesses) the best hymnal Lutherans in America have ever produced.
A complete and wonderful Altar Book.
A complete Agenda that makes the previous Agendas look sparse.
A Reader's Edition of Concordia: the Lutheran Confessions
Treasury of Daily Prayer - designed for ALL the baptized and replete with the daily Scripture readings AND writings from the history of the Church
A Pastoral Care Companion that is so rich a pastor in his ministry will never wear out its resources
A Study Bible that is one of the best available for its rich blending of Patristic, Confessional and modern scholarly insight into the Word of God.
And last but not least: Lutheran Service Builder that is top notch software for utilizing the full resources of hymnal AND Altar Book/Agenda with unprecedented ease and speed!
I can't imagine it has ever been a more joyous time to be a Lutheran pastor. In liturgy, Bible study, prayer, and pastoral care we have been resourced in a way that our spiritual forebears would be astonished at. And just today I read that CPH is coming out with an updated reader's edition of Dr. Walther's classic *The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel* that takes the "King Jamesy" language out of Dau's rendition of Walther and gives us the real and rugged Saxon at his best. Looking forward to it.
Oh, and did I mention the Gerhard volumes available now in his classic Loci Theologici? And Starck's Prayer Book? And Walther's *God Grant It!*? It goes on and on. And still the goodies are rolling out.
Thank you, heavenly Father, for these resources and for the opportunity to serve Your people in these days!