digitext - my new tumblr blog
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
This blog is currently in ARCHIVE status, with no new content. To see what I'm currently up to, read my blog at Tumblr.
Friday, July 29, 2005
I'm now "licensed to preach the gospel"--whatever that means! And I just skipped right over the learner's permit! So the only real difference is that I can now perform weddings (under supervision of course). Other than that, there seems to be little difference between what I could do before July 24, 2005, when I became a licensed minister in the Church of the Brethren. Our ordinances (baptism, anointing, love feast, communion) have no theological or practical limits on who can "perform" them. I'm simply more likely to perform them now, and I'm theoretically learning how to do all that so that someday I can single-handedly relieve the shortage of pastors in the church, although I may never be a pastor in my life, but then again who knows? I was pleasantly surprised on July 24th after the Sunday morning service in which I was licensed and had hands laid upon me. Folks who I've hardly, if ever spoken to, talked on & on; those I might expect but had never seen express emotions publicly did so, and strongly; and a gentleman who makes a habit of giving the fresh rose from his lapel to someone who touched him in a meaningful way pinned the flower to my suit jacket. I was worship leader that morning, and fumbled some words in the scripture reading from Matthew 13--no reason except human error. I slipped and said "serpent" during the "the kingdom of heaven is like..." series, making the final consummation to be crafty and scaly; I hid my reflex to laugh well enough. If I wasn't anxious about what I was reading, I did, and still do harbor anxiety about what I am doing in the licensed ministry. As I said in my response after my vows and consecration, I feel a bit like Moses when he received the call to set the tribes of Israel free from enslavement. I don't know how I'll do it, if I'll do it well, if God will be pleased with my results, if I'll have the support of the people. But I'm glad for the opportunity to find out, for if this hadn't come down the pike, I could be stuck in my own world of not knowing what I'm supposed to be when I "grow up." Now that I'm licensed, I'll be getting a Masters degree in finding out, and --hopefully-- I'll have the prayers of several hundred good folks behind me.