I am aware that what I write below is nothing new. In fact, that gives me great comfort.
In the reading of the Lutheran Confessions given in the Treasury of Daily Prayer for today we read from Article IV of the Apology:
"We do not exclude the Word or Sacraments, as the adversaries falsely charge against us. We have said that faith is conceived from the Word. We honor the ministry of the Word in the highest degree."
This is the reason why Lutherans ought to hold the Office of the Holy Ministry in high regard. For no other reason than it is through this divinely instituted Office that the Word of God is spoken and the Sacraments are administered. It is through this Office that God has deigned to work in this way. It is through His Word and Sacraments that God creates and strengthens faith.
The man in the Office is irrelevant. Cover him up with vestments representing the Office. Hide the man! The Office which he bears and the Word that is spoken is what is relevant. We honour the ministry of the Word in the highest degree because of the WORD - not the man.