Fear the Reaper
In writing about Pastors ousted from their calls, I came across this during my devotions last night, and thought it rather telling:
A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard.
But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out.
Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
Pastors are God’s ambassadors through whom He makes His appeal, which makes them workers in His harvest field.
When a congregation runs a pastor off for the wrong reasons, they’re abusing servants of the Most High God. And, as surely as there is a God, absent repentance and forgiveness, Justice will be served, it will be certain, final, and without possibility of appeal.
And this would be with good reason, because – let’s be serious here – this isn’t “just” about how the pastor’s being treated, it’s how Christ Himself is being treated.
As Christ told Saul when Saul was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians there:
And falling to the ground he [Saul] heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?”
And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…