Courtesy of Rev. Eric Andrae, Lutheran pastor Bo Giertz offers us a great exposition of the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) and sums up the importance of the pastoral ministry. “‘It is a great thing to receive a heritage…. It is wonderful to stand in the same pulpit, to learn of [those who have gone before us,] and to carry forward the work they began. Sir…, can anything be greater than to be a pastor in God’s church?’” (Bo Giertz, The Hammer of God, 191).

President Bush offered an indirect answer to Giertz’s question last week. According to the McLaughlin Group (see Issue one: Uncle Sam wants you bad), in a speech from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the president said: “I thank those of you who’ve reenlisted in an hour when your country needs you. And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our armed forces.”

The juxtaposition of these two quotes gives us an excellent opportunity to recall Jesus’ most excellent maxim: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21 NIV).