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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

02 November 2008

Of Collars and Lines

From the Archives

It’s been a long week since the last column entered the Sunday paper’s clutches. Sermons, meetings, hospital calls, and the like have come and gone. My daughters grew a bit older and taller. The news from abroad and here in the States was a mix of bad and good. Yet in a changing world, our unchanging God is still in control. Good times and bad, joyful and sad, our forgiveness through Christ is certain.

Another (almost) certainty is the column’s deadline. Don’t you love that word — deadline? I would rather think of it a lifeline. After all, if I get the questions answered and into the NewsBoy offices on time, “Ask the Pastor” lives for another week. I guess that I could make a theological comparison between newspaper life and the Christian life. The column passes through the deadline to receive life in the paper. The Christian passes through death to receive eternal life, as Paul wrote in Romans: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (6:3-4)”

I know, I know, that’s stretching it.

CollarsWe have a response to last week’s question about wearing a clergy collar:

Nancy Hill, the wife of Jasper’s Episcopal priest, tells it on her husband. Father Gary went into the preschool class at Trinity Episcopal near the beginning of the year. Many of the children come from backgrounds where clericals are as rare as snow in the Sahara. Father Gary asked if they knew what he wore around his neck.

“It’s a collar!” chimed in several children at once.

“And do you know why I wear it?” Father Gary asked.

A long silence was finally broken by one bright youngster, who responded, “Yep. Kills fleas and ticks for four full months.”

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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Newspaper column #4:1


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