blip : Blog of Isaac & Jason :

commissioned for the pastorate

December 21st, 2006 by isaac · 3 Comments

Hands. So many hands. Fingers curling around my arms. Flattened palms pressing against my upper back. And a rough gardener’s palm resting on my hair, with fingers extending onto my forehead.

At church about 6 months ago I stood in the center of thirty or forty people. From every possible direction they reached towards my body. My friends, my brothers and sisters, every part of Christ’s body converging on me for a moment.

With heads bowed, all eyes shut, and my body weighed down with hands, a deacon prayed:

Holy God, your love for us was so great that Christ emptied himself of his equality with you, taking on the form of a slave. Grant Isaac the mind of Christ; grant him a share in Christ’s ministry. Pour out your Holy Spirit on Isaac so that he might be given all the gifts needed to be a faithful minister.

After a loud “Amen,” the small crowd greeted me with smiles and hugs—the joy of the Spirit hovering over people as they passed one another the peace of Christ. It was a baptism of sorts… Baptized into the ministry. And with the increasing heat pouring forth from every hand pressed against me, it seemed like a baptism of fire.

I can’t say that I ever anticipated this moment. I can’t say that I had reoccurring dreams of vocational ministry. While my fellow kindergarteners talked of the glories of Fire-fighting, I can’t say that I reveled in the glories of the pastorate. But the Lord works in mysterious ways; the Spirit moves like the unpredictable wind. And that Sunday evening, God’s life-giving breath flowed from the mouths of Christ’s manifold body as they said “Amen” in one voice, and I was re-created as a pastor.

I can’t say that I have what it takes to be a minister, to care for Christ’s flock. I’m too young, for one thing. There’s nothing about my appearance that displays my calling. Nor is there anything about my speaking (in)abilities. I’m merely willing to serve the church—to give my life to a community that took a risk with me. And, I have a blessing to remember—a blessing spoken over me by that man with the gardening hands, resting on my head:

Now, may the God of peace who brought from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good, so that you may do God’s will, working among us that which is pleasing in God’s sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Tags: life

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jason // Dec 21, 2006 at 11:14 am

    Thanks for posting that—it’s exciting to see you’ve ended up at a place you never expected, but seems to fit you so well.

  • 2 Jeremy Alder // Dec 21, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    That’s beautiful, Isaac. I’m hoping my own call comes something like that—as something of a surprise, and from the mouths and hands of those around me. I don’t trust my own judgment in these matters anymore. I’m too prone to self-deception.

    Have a great Christmas. Hope we get the chance to hang out soon.

  • 3 Bill // Dec 23, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Welcome to the joy and the agony that is vocational ministry. Good to have another member of the tribe.