God's Calling - 20th Anniversary Edition
Today is my twenty-anniversary of ordination. On this day, September 9, 2001, I was ordained into ministry ~ “with all the rights and privileges thereof” as the ordination service says. Never have totally figured out what that phrase meant!
How do you measure a ministry over twenty years?
Sermons preached? (Over 1000 by my count).
Funerals or baptisms or weddings? (I’ve lost track)
Pastoral care visits or cookies ate together? (Again, I stopped counting)
Bible Studies? (Never too much Bible Study in my humble opinion)
Meetings attended? (I probably don’t want to know!)
Or what about measuring ministry by ~ moments of God’s love shared? Experiences of the Holy encountered and changed lives? Laughter and tears openly expressed, letting God’s healing presence move in our hearts?
Or maybe ministry can’t be quantified or counted. Maybe ministry can’t be measure. If this is true for me, then that can be true for all of us as we explore our callings ~ God’s callings to you and each of us. Your calling does not need to “produce”…it is about presence. Your presence being offered with your full, open, deepest self to the world.
Here is what I do know on my twenty-anniversary. I feel as called today as I did twenty years ago to be a pastor. I feel what the church can offer this hurting world is healing, love, and hope (all are in short supply right now by some accounts, but God will never stop sharing these with us). I sense deep in my soul that God isn’t finished with us and is prompting us to be the good news ~ not just in words but to embody God’s good news of acceptation and peace and grace for the sake of the world God so loves. Thank you for the privilege of serving as your pastor. Thank you for the ways we are crafting and creating the church in these days. May you and I find ways to be the good news each day this week. Amen.