I woke up this morning to the live BBC Radio 5 coverage of the consecration of #BishopLibbyLane, the very first female to be made a bishop in the Church of England. I had several observations and reflections. Firstly, it was wonderful to listen live to history being made. Secondly, it was thoroughly encouraging to listen to the response of Archbishop John Sentamu to the opposing voice that was raised in the middle of the service, and also to hear the consequent affirmation of the gathered congregation being pronounced with gusto. Thirdly, the whole thing reminded me, very vividly, of my own ordination:
“In his name you are
to preach by word and deed the gospel of God’s grace;
to declare God’s forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent;
to baptize, to confirm
and to preside at the celebration of the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood;
to lead God’s people in worship, prayer and service;
to minister Christ’s love and compassion;
to serve others, in whom you serve the Lord himself.
These things are your…duty and delight…
In all things, give counsel and encouragement to those whom Christ entrusts to your care.
Pray without ceasing.
Work with joy in the Lord’s service.
Let no-one suffer hurt through your neglect.
This ministry will make great demands on you and upon those close to you, yet in all this, the Holy Spirit will sustain you by his grace.”
It is easy to let those words simply be spoken in a service and then to forget them as the days and months wear on. That is not to say I stop doing the things I have been ordained to do. Rather, it is simply to say that sometimes it is easy to forget the significance of these things being, and the resulting significance for every subsequent action and word.
This morning I am thankful for my ordination and for hands that were laid on me in that moment. I am thankful for the affirmation I heard that night, and I am thankful for the vocation that I continue to live out each day.
It is good to be called. My prayer and resolution today is to walk faithfully in that call.
#dailyresolutions #call #purpose #grace