Thursday, January 17, 2013
Wearing the collar and saving the bow
This past weekend I was Ordained.
My kids asked me what this means, and if they have to call me "Father Mom."
It means that I am now - officially - a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America.
It means I can be called Reverend. (not Father Mom)
It means I can wear the collar and the stole.
It means I can put a "Clergy" placard on my dashboard and park a little closer to the hospital entrance, if I need to.
It means I can be called upon to pray in public, or at the dinner table. Not that I haven't been before, but now I'm expected to say "Of course!" and launch into an impressive and theologically-sound missive thanking God for pizza.
More importantly to me, Ordination means that the calling I heard from God so clearly when I was 13, has been validated by the church. It means that I publicly promised to live for Christ; to love God and to love people. It means that everything I have undertaken and accomplished over the past 10 years or so (Seminary, Clinical Pastoral Education, internships, post-graduate courses, etc.) was recognized by the church. It means that everything has changed. It also means that nothing has changed.
When I was a kid, every time we unwrapped a gift, my mother would say "Save the bow!" She was big on reusing things. But sometimes she would put aside the bow in order to remember the occasion.
My ordination is the Bow on the Gift that God has given me - the Gift of a call to ministry.
I'm so thankful for that gift. And I will save the bow.