Feast of St. Titus + Luke 10:1-8; Acts 20:28-35
Today is the Feast Day of St. Titus.
St. Paul taught Titus the Christian Truth and considered him his child in the faith.
It is because of St. Paul that St. Titus was a pastor in the Lord’s Church and the New Testament Book of the Bible bears his name.
St. Titus was a partner and fellow worker with St. Paul for the church’s benefit – baptizing all nations, teaching them everything that Jesus has taught and commanded, taking encouragement in the promise that God is with us always unto the end of the age.
This is the Great Commission, the Great Command, that Jesus gave to His Church on earth until He comes again with the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come in heaven.
Like St. Paul, Titus had an earnest care and desire for God’s people, and Paul thanked God for that. St. Paul and St. Titus worked together making known the coming of God’s kingdom.
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
Jesus said, “Behold, I will search for my sheep and will seek them out; I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed.
Today, we give thanks for St. Titus, and his work as pastor and teacher in the Lord’s harvest.
We also give thanks for all pastors and servants of the word, that they would be diligent in preaching God’s holy Word, that they would hold it sacred in all of its truth and purity, that the whole world would know the immeasurable riches of Jesus Christ and His Virgin Birth, His suffering under Pontius Pilate, His crucifixion, death and burial, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven and coming again to judge the living and the dead.
It is also good for us to remember and give thanks for those pastors who baptized us, who taught us the faith, who forgave us our sins, who gave us Communion for the first time, who joined us together as husband and wife, and who have buried our loved ones.
These men, like St. Paul and St. Titus, have made us sheep of the Good Shepherd’s flock. They have made us to lie down in green pastures. They have made us heirs and participants in God’s kingdom.
This past week I have been at our church’s seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. It is here that men are prepared to be undershepherds of the Lord’s flock and laborers in the Lord’s harvest. This is where our own seminarian, Trae Fistler, is completing his studies. While I was there as a student and every time I now return, as a pastor, I give thanks for all those Paul’s, those pastors, who encourage young Titus’s, young men, to become servants of Christ. And I am encouraged by all the congregations, like this one, who also encourage and support young men in the same way.
As we celebrate and give thanks for St. Titus and all laborers in our Lord’s harvest fields, it is also good for us to consider why they go to seminary and why we need pastors.
We confess in the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true. Amen.