Today I went to an ordination at our church. It was the first time I've ever been to one, so I was pretty excited to get to go. It was pretty much what I thought it was, and so of course that meant it was really good.
It was a slightly more formal style service than our normal Sundays, which seemed befitting. There were lots of clergy members there, which was fun to see. I only knew a couple of them. The sanctuary was packed. We were actually a little late, coming in during the first hymn, and there were no parking places left. We had to park beside the grass. I don't have any pictures for you because a) I was too busy worshiping and fellowshiping and b) flash photography was forbidden anyway.
The sermon shared with me a really cool way to look at Jesus' own words. The priest giving it, who I've never met before, focused on how when Jesus spoke, he'd talk about things both figuratively and literally, just like the rest of us. But when he was being figurative and people misunderstood, he'd correct them. If it was just a typical misunderstanding, he'd just do it normally. He gave a couple of examples, including how when Jesus said that Lazarus was sleeping and the disciples thought that meant he'd be okay, and Jesus had to clarify that what he meant was Lazarus was dead.
Yet, in other circumstances it wouldn't be a misunderstanding so much as a rejection of the Truth, and in those cases, Jesus would come back and make his point stronger, so that the offended person had to choose to accept the Truth or walk away. He gave a few examples, among them when Jesus forgave the paralytic man who was lowered from the ceiling's sins, and the Pharisees in attendance were offended. Instead of backing down or watering down the truth, Jesus took it to the next level and showed not only had He the authority to forgive sins, but to heal the man as well.
Then the priest applied it our gospel text for the service, which was from John 6 and talked about Jesus as the bread of life, which his disciples murmured about being a hard saying. So Jesus talked then about how if you didn't eat of his flesh and drink his blood, you'd have no life in you. And many walked away.
He went on to say that this was a good example for Father Charles, to take a hard stance for the Truth, as Christ did, when teaching from the Word. Not to back down or water things down when people rise in offence, as many do. I think that is a wonderful lesson for all ministers of the Word, as well as for all Christians in our life. I know sometimes I water things down to avoid a confrontation, and I felt convicted.
I was also excited at this new revelation about Jesus' teaching style and I am excited to try to apply it as I'll start my Bible in 90 days challenged I am starting with Ryan on January 30th. I wonder what fresh insights the Lord will show me!
It was a good sermon, but not the only good part of the ordination. My favorite part was the pure joy on his face when he was vested and ordained, and when his family came up to join him.
Afterwards there was a delicious meal we all ate in fellowship together. I love my church, and I consider myself quite blessed that I will get to take Communion two days in row! Yay!
Congratulations, yet again, to the new Father Charles if he reads this. And I'm saying a quick prayer for ministers of the Church everywhere, no matter what their title or lack thereof! May we all be unified.