This coming weekend our Cathedral will be a place of great excitement and busyness as we celebrate the ordination of new deacons and priests.
For the candidates and their families, this will mark a very significant moment indeed, one for which why they will have been preparing for a number of years since they first felt and responded to this call from God upon their lives. It is not the end of course, but neither is it the beginning. Like all sacramental moments, it is more the making visible of a deeper reality, a bringing to birth ready for all that God has in store for them, the ministry they will exercise and the communities they serve. As deacons and priests, their ministry is one of service and leadership, but it is never something that they will do on their own, as the ordination service will remind them ‘only by the grace and power of God’ and of course only with the whole baptised people of God.
This is why our ordinations this weekend are not just a cause of rejoicing for those being ordained, their families and the communities in which they serve, but rather for the whole Church, for us all. Indeed, the service begins from this place: “The Church is the Body of Christ, the people of God and the dwelling palace of the Holy Spirit” we are then reminded that “In Baptism the whole Church is summoned to witness to God’s love and to work for the coming of the Kingdom”. Theirs is a ministry in which we are all called to serve – we are in this together!
Please, therefore, do hold those being ordained in your prayers. They are like all of us human beings, women and men flawed and fallible, called by God, as Jesus called the first disciples, to a life of holiness, service and witness. They need our support and encouragement as we will benefit from theirs. Pray for them and remember that God calls each one of us also. When they are ordained this weekend they will be called by name, by God who knows them and their stories, the journeys they have lived, that have brought them to this place. This is the same God who knows each one of us by name and our stories. As we pray for them may we be open to God’s continuing call to us, ready to respond in our lives, that God’s love may be made visible and the Kingdom made ready.