Our weekly newsletter gets a reboot of sorts as we begin this new triennium with Rev. Dr. D. Richard Stuckwisch now serving as the District President for the Indiana District. This reboot includes a name change for the newsletter, now known as “Earthen Vessels.” This initial article by President Stuckwisch takes a look at 2 Corinthians 4 (selected verses).
Over the past couple of weeks, on the Feast of St. Bartholomew (24 August) and again in the daily lectionary (26 August), we’ve had the opportunity to hear from St. Paul that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor. 4:7). The treasure to which he refers is the great treasure of the Gospel, the grace and glory of God in Christ Jesus, whereby the Lord saves us from our sin and death and brings us into the Life and Light of His presence. But the extraordinary greatness of this treasure is magnified by the fact that it is bestowed upon us by the ways and means of the Cross, by the preaching and ministry of mortal men who are but flesh and blood, who are sinners themselves in need of forgiveness. St. Paul writes of himself and the other Apostles, in particular, who were “afflicted in every way” (2 Cor. 4:8); they carried around “the dying of Jesus” in their bodies, that the “life of Jesus” might also be revealed in their bodies (2 Cor. 4:10). And it remains the case that the Church and Ministry of the Gospel lives and abides under the Cross – in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead. So, too, the servants of His Word, our pastors, live and work under the Cross in frailty and weakness, with nothing else to give but the Word of the Cross and water, bread, and wine in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Yet, in and with these “earthen vessels” the Lord Himself pours out upon us the immeasurable riches of His grace and all the treasures of His Kingdom, to the praise and glory of His Holy Name.