Tuesday, August 07, 2012

My Ordination: A Brief Reflection

I'm gearing up to "participate" in my first District Assembly in a long time. I say "participate" because I'm really just going to share in the experience. I have no "business" to attend to. For the last few years I have been approved by my denomination for what's called "Special Service/Interdenominational," or SPC status. This has allowed me to remain in good standing with my home denomination, The Church of the Nazarene, while at the same time being an Associate Pastor at Redemption Church, a non-denominational church in Olathe, KS. I'm very ecumenical.

And I'm very thankful.

Of the weeks event, I'm mostly looking forward to hearing Jeren Rowell preach at the Celebration and Vision Service. There is a good chance that my wife and I would have ended up at his church had he not been called to be the Superintendent of the Kansas City District. I look forward to hearing the good news!

In light of all this, I have found myself reflecting on my call and ordination as a pastor. Six years ago I kneeled at an alter with the my bible open to the Sermon on the Mount as Rev. James Diehl put his hands on my head and through the Holy Spirit affirmed in me, with all of the weight and strength of many centuries worth of pastors who have gone before me, the rite of ordination. I am a baby, indeed, in all of this. I have barely learned to walk and speak, but I know the end towards whom I am headed. I know the one who called. I know the one who has his thumb in my back urging me to live into this call (thanks, Grandpa, for helping me see it this way). It is with great joy, pain, and hope that I read (and with God's help, affirm) these words again:

"The core duties of a pastor are: To pray. To preach the word. To equip the saints for work in the ministry. To administer the sacraments. To care for the people by pastoral visitation, particularly the sick and needy. To comfort those who mourn. To correct, rebuke, and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction."

With God's help, indeed.

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