While at the Concordia Publishing House store in St. Louis a couple weeks back, I picked up from the pastoral helps shelves a nice looking large pocket-sized, black leather-covered book entitled (in a nice gold script) Visitation. I think I was expecting a generic, protestant "minister's manual" type book -- you will find those in most any "Christian" bookstore, even the denominational ones like Augsburg Fortress and CPH -- but it was an unfamiliar title and, what the hay.
I immediately knew I was in for a treat, though; the subtitle is "Resources for the Care of Souls" and the editors are Arthur A Just, Jr., and Scot A. Kinnaman. I first met Art Just when he addressed the Society of the Holy Trinity for our 5th anniversary and have gotten to know him better since then through events at Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, where he is Professor of Exegetical Theology and former Dean of the Chapel. I wish I'd had a professor like him at PLTS.
It's another brand new pastoral resource that can be used by pastors or lay visitors but, while it certainly draws on the Missouri Synod's fine, new Lutheran Service Book resources, it is clearly something different from LSB's excellent Pastoral Care Companion. Prof. Just writes in his preface, "More than thirteen years ago, I made a comment in class that someday I would like to put together a book of lessons and prayers to assist pastors, deaconesses, and caring Christians in their visitations to the sick and the suffering." Pastor Kinnaman was a seminarian in that class and that book was published only a few months ago.
At $28, it ain't cheap (though CPH's discount for pastors helps). I'm already glad I bought it. And in an upcoming post, I'll show you an example of why.