Coming up in a few weeks, I will be celebrating the 22nd anniversary of my ordination as a pastor. To celebrate that, in my sermon today, I managed to note that pastors can sometimes be very diva-like in our behavior. Click here for my sermon if you want to hear more. https://youtu.be/56WXtX-paA0?t=413
But the other thing about this morning was how a bunch of things came together from that 22 year journey into a single morning in worship.
- I wore the apron I was given by the Board of Deacons at the first church that I served
- I received a text from a family in that church this morning offering their blessings on the day
- The central image for the service was one I took of the hand of one of my coworkers on the shoulder of another of our teammates representing the laying on of hands,
- Our guest musicians were two of my dear friends from that same congregation with whom I led I don’t know how many services over the years
- All of this in the wonderful congregation I am blessed to serve with today.
- Also. in the photo of me with the apron, there are some things in the background that are from key people in my journey as well. Total beautiful accident that it came out that way!
It was a really beautiful thing for me of how all of these pieces were together in a single service. It felt like reminders for me of all the steps along the path that I have followed the last 22 or so years. Each stop has had its fill of blessings and challenges. Each has people I love dearly and to whom I cannot express the depth of my gratitude. Each has been a place where I have been witness to and a participant in the the working of God in and through a community of people. For each, I am grateful because all of them have been a part of shaping me into who I am today and how I seek to live out that calling as a pastor – as one who is sent to serve and to speak.
There’s a lengthy conclusion to the letter in the New Testament called Colossians. In the last 10 verses, Paul lists a bunch of people who have been a part of his path and for whom he is grateful. He shares greetings and blessings. Today felt a bit like that for me today.
But he also starts many of his letters with words of gratitude for those folks as well such as he does at the beginning of the same letter.
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.Colossians 1:3-5