Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Saint Timothy, Pastor and Confessor, January 24th

If you exclude all that excitement in Washington, D.C., January was a relatively uneventful month, but there were a few bright spots.  On January 20th, at 2pm, the Chaplain for the Saint Timothy Society was installed into office.  And today, January 24th, is the "minor" festival of Saint Timothy, Pastor and Confessor, our namesake.

The comment has been made elsewhere that the Lutheran church in our part of the world (the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in the United States) has "inherited a fortunate combination of observance and laziness".  Part of that fortunate combination is the festival of Saint Timothy, Pastor and Confessor, which is observed on January 24th in the Lutheran Service Book.  After the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the Roman Catholic Church now celebrates Saints Timothy and Titus together on January 26th (Francis de Sales is now remembered on the 24th), and Eastern Orthodoxy remembers Saint Timothy on January 22nd.  But we, lazily and observantly, have kept it on the 24th.

So what is worth remembering and celebrating about Saint Timothy?  Plenty, but perhaps the most noteworthy is the very simple fact that he was a faithful shepherd who guided and fed his flock so that they would be guided and received by the Good Shepherd "in the way that leads to life eternal", as the Collect for Saint Timothy puts it:

Lord Jesus Christ, You have always given to Your Church on earth faithful shepherds such as Timothy to guide and feed Your flock. Make all pastors diligent to preach Your holy Word and administer Your means of grace, and grant Your people wisdom to follow in the way that leads to life eternal; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The previous blog post mentioned that those looking for something quite modest following the "Yuuge" event at noon on January 20th would find just the sort of humble and low key affair at the installation of the Chaplain of the Saint Timothy Society at 2pm that same day at Kramer Chapel at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  And so it was, with a few of us praying the Order of None with the Rite of Installation.  Which order also has a remarkable Collect for that week in Epiphany:

O merciful Lord Jesus Christ, at this hour You did commend Your blessed spirit into the hands of Your heavenly Father; have mercy upon us and help us, that we being dead unto the world may live only to You, and that at the hour of our death we may be received by You into Your heavenly kingdom, where You reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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