Sunday, May 5, 2013


It's not every Sunday that one gets to worship with the bishop of the synod and a previous pastor of the congregation one is currently serving.

The morning was spent celebrating God's Spirit moving in the life of the former pastor, Ken.  He's been ordained for 45 years.
          45 years.
               I've got just 2.

A perfect morning to reflect on call.  God's call and claim in our lives.
The mark of the cross on each of us.  The name beloved spoken to our hearts.

One member asked if I was nervous with the bishop and former pastor visiting.  Nope, I was just glad I didn't have to prepare a sermon.

I was also especially glad to have the opportunity to reflect back on my own call and to look forward to the future of the church.

When I was ordained just over two years ago, I remember the hands laid on me for a blessing.  Hands of clergy who nurtured my call, taught, mentored, loved, and supported me over the years.  Hands of  clergy who know the weight and awe of this calling.  Hand of clergy who've walked through the caverns of pain and doubt and through the meadows of hope and joy.  Hands who've held a grieving family and a newborn.  Hands who've offered bread and wine.  Hands of clergy bruised and scarred and healed.  Hands to love.

This morning, I invited the children forward to lay their hands on Ken for a blessing.  Hands of children full of possibility.  Hands of children full of questions and wonder and awe.  Hands of children reaching towards new life and new opportunities.  Hands of children with crayon markings and scrapes and bruises.  Hands open for bread and wine.  Hands drenched in water.  Hands to love.

Yet, what about those who won't know the blessing of the hands placed upon them?  What about my friends who are waiting and wondering if there is a place for them to serve God's people?  What about my friends who've followed God's call and remain outside the welcome of a church because of who they have decided to love?

My heart aches for them.  My heart aches for the church who is slow to realize their gifts and call.

I saw the hands of the children this morning and I saw hands welcoming all God's people.  I saw hope for the future.  For God's church.  I saw the children and I saw future leaders who simply open their hands.

Let's all open our hands, the beggars that we are as Martin Luther said, and open ourselves to God's grace.  For all of us.  

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