The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is he!
Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept his decrees, and the statutes that he gave them.
O Lord our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Extol the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy.
Fifteen years ago this June, I was ordained as a pastor of Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA. It has been an interesting, blessed, fun, wonderful, and challenging journey. I am thankful for it all and continue to feel the call of God upon my life. One thing that has not changed over the years has been the sense that this Psalm has about the role of the priests. While I do not hold the perspective that, as a pastor, I am the intermediary between God and people, I do hold that one key part of my call is to go before God on behalf of the people and the world. I am thankful for the many ways that I have seen God work in areas that I have prayed for and I continue to wrestle with God in the areas where I am not sure what God is up to. But like Moses, Aaron, Samuel, and the countless men and women who have been called to this role, it is still core for me to go before the Lord to call upon God and to cry unto the Lord for the needs of the world. This picture captures key stages along the way in my calling – the black robe is the same that I received when I was ordained, the doctoral bars represent a key part of my passion and growth, the red stole (which symbolizes ordination and the blessing of the Holy Spirit) was made by my wonderful and gifted wife, and the green stole was a gift from dear friends we were transitioning from our first call to here in Ohio where we serve today. It all combines to remind me that I have not come to this place today alone as I have been supported and strengthened and blessed by God and by many others along the way. I am so thankful.