Monday, April 25, 2005

The privilege of ministry

Today was the day of the funeral of the aforementioned musician (did anyone notice my deft use of the word aformentioned there - i took an online IQ test and apparently am quite clever, its just a shame no one has noticed)

Anyway, it was a good funeral - at least as good as these things can be! It had laughter and some tears, some very good tributes by some very accomplished musicians and a chance to celebrate a life as well as mourn its passing.

And my reflection on this? Well, its a reminded of the huge privilege we have as ministers of the Church in being allowed in to the most profound times of people's lives. It is of course also a huge responsibility and i, normally a placid type of person, get furious when i hear of the abuses that those who call themselves pastors and ministers are often guilty of.

I have quite a high view of the calling to ministry, and - i hope - a humility that goes alongside that as i realise how inadequate i am for the task! thank God for the divine assistance that seems to go along with this calling. I don't just mean ordained ministry either - all Christians are called to serve the community in which God has placed us and that responsibility must be taken seriously.

I love being freed up by the Church to visit, to pray, to offer support and help at people's time of need and to rejoice with those who celebrate new life or the beginning of a new phase in their relationships. I love my parishes, honest, even the cantankerous and the difficult people, because they are all valuable and unique. If i ever lose this sense of wonder and of joy, along with the sense of responsibility and the work it takes to keep going in this, i think it will be time to give up. I hope that's not sometime soon.

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