It has been a year (+ about a week) since my ordination as a priest, and a year (– about a week) since I began my ministry here with you at St. John the Divine. I give thanks to God for both these things, and all that has come out of the last 12 months.
Ordination is one of those things that are considered a sacrament in the Anglican Church – a special sign of God’s grace – which includes baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, marriage, reconciliation, and the anointing of the sick.
On this (approximately) one year anniversary of my ordination and the beginning of my ministry here with you, I have been wondering about what ordination as a sacrament means. One thing it does not mean is that I’m magic. It also doesn’t mean that I am a professional Christian. Those are jokes, but sometimes we treat clergy as if that is what ordination means.
I think that an important distinction is that sometimes we focus on sacraments as if they are for one person – the person being baptized, confirmed, married, or ordained. However, as I have reflected on this, I wonder if sacraments are not so much about the individual, the self, but about community, the whole.
In baptism, the Church welcomes a child of God into the community of faith, whose shared baptismal promises are for the blessing of the world. In the Eucharist, the Church feasts together, sharing communion – community – with the faithful through the ages, and with God – fed and strengthened for the blessing of the world.
So, I wonder then, in ordination, if the Church raises up from among ourselves co-labourers, to fill some of the many roles within the body of Christ, so that all of us together may be a blessing for the world.
Thank you for the past year, my co-labourers. I am excited to be doing the work of the Church with you in this place.
Thanks be to God!