Saturday, 30 June 2018

Speaking the words of God

Just ordained - Jacob Mercer our new curate after today's service in Southwark Cathedral:

We look forward to welcoming Jacob to both churches tomorrow.

As always, the words of the ordination service packed quite a punch.

'You sent your only Son Jesus Christ to take the form of a slave; he humbled himself for our sake and in obedience accepted death, even death on a cross' the Ordination Prayer stated, taking its cue from Philippians chapter 2.

That word 'slave' - rather than the usual, tamer, translation of 'servant' - struck home.

And then the link with Jacob and the other candidates: 'And now we give you thanks that you have called these your servants, whom we ordain in your name, to share as deacons in the ministry of the gospel of Christ, who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'

That's a high calling, or rather a properly lowly calling, patterned on Christ, and we pray for Jacob as he lives it out here.

Like all good workmen, he'll need the proper tools of his trade, and so at the end of the service, he was given a copy of the Scriptures with these words:

Receive this book, as a sign of the authority given to you this day to speak God's word to his people. Build them up in his truth, and serve them in his name.

Without the Bible Jacob has literally nothing to say, but when the message of the Bible is in his heart and on his lips, God will speak to us through him.

Now that really is a high calling - and privilege.

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