According to church tradition, March 25 is a very important date. Tradition holds that three very important things happened today. First, it is the day Satan tempted Eve and through the sin of Adam and Eve, the world was plunged into death. Second, that same tradition holds that this is the date the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to tell her she had been chosen by God to bear the world’s Redeemer, the promised Messiah. Finally, the twenty-fifth of March is the traditional date for Jesus’ crucifixion. So, on this day, the world was hurled into sin and death, the Savior from that same sin and death came into the world, and He accomplished the salvation He came to bring.
Why does the Pastor preach? Scripture explains that the role of preaching the Word of God is how saving faith is created: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:14-17). The Augsburg Confession, seeing this connection between the Preaching Office and saving faith, summarizes Scripture on the Office of the Holy Ministry in this way: “To obtain [saving, justifying] faith, God instituted the Office of Preaching, giving the Gospel and the Sacraments. Through these, as through means, He gives the Holy Spirit who produces faith, where and when He wills, in those who hear the Gospel. It teaches that we have a gracious God, not through our merit but through Christ’s merit, when we so believe” (AC V 1-3). The whole reason the Pastor preaches is so saving faith can be created, so we know that “we have a gracious God” who loves us and has saved us from our sin by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.