Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Month 1 at First Presbyterian Church

The first month has passed.

I begin this post with the gospel text from my service of ordination and installation that I originally promised to write about many days ago. My apologies.

The sermon text was Matthew 10:7-10. It was selected with the help of my good friend Michael, who I asked to preach.

Matthew 10:7-10 reads as follows:
As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. (Matt 10:7-10 NRSV)
I wanted to hear some words about the imperative to "proclaim the good news." Michael did an absolutely fantastic job from the pulpit, hammering home the necessity to preach Christ and Him crucified. A true word from God pierced my heart on that day.

The ordination itself was an astonishing experience. I'm thankful to have been called by God, from whom all good blessings flow. The laying of hands is a reminder of the yoke placed upon those whom God calls in ministry. The weight of the call was nicely accompanied by the warmth of those hands. I could visualize a chain of hands extending from those present - including my wife, my mother and father, my sister, and my in-laws - all the way back in history to that first anointing by the spirit in Acts 2. What an amazing day.

So what about the first month?

It was full! Full of visitation with brothers and sisters in various hospitals. Full to the brim with worship planning. Filled with firsts, too: First administration of communion, first funeral, and first baptism last Sunday (10/12). Everything is a first. More firsts will come, to be sure. Stay tuned!