Monday, April 18, 2011

Ordination Day

Ever have the experience of being so emotionally exhausted you can’t begin to express yourself? That your heart is so dang full, your lips are incapable or even willing to utter a word?

Saturday afternoon I looked out at the congregation gathered for my ordination and was humbled by God’s extraordinary grace. Colleagues from seminary stood beside members of my home church who stood alongside members from various immigrant fellowships and sundry committees from my presbytery. Children who had loved and taught me theology joined with seminary professors and ordained pastors from several denominations.
This is my family. This is the community God used and continues to use in order to remind me, “I have called you by name. You are mine…you are precious in my sight, and honored and I love you.”

Heady stuff. I am elated, blessed, thankful. And humbled. So humbled.

Because as I looked out and saw my beloved cloud of witnesses, these angels who have journeyed with me, I was reminded that God has claimed each one. Each precious, honored and treasured by the Creator. And each person there has embarked on their own journey and they too have their champions, their stumbling blocks and their blessings. I am humbled because so many have allowed me to journey with them and once again witness God’s enduring faithfulness.

Okay, so now I have a framed ordination certificate propped up against my office bookshelf. I have a tailored robe and cool stoles. I can use Rev in front of my name. But the greatest thing to have occurred Saturday afternoon was that God showed up in a most wonderfully tangible way – like water from a rock or the birth of a baby – by casting an extended sacred embrace to a large group of people, calling each by name, claiming us for service and ministry, equipping and empowering us to boldly go out in the world in God’s name.