Sunday, July 9, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Ordination - Priests:  Called for Divine Ministry

Daniel Thomas
Orlando MTC

41.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "we have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).  42. And he brought him to Jesus.

According to Holman Bible dictionary, ordination is appointing, consecrating, or commissioning of persons for special service to the Lord and His people.  What is the role of an ordained minister in this changing and sophisticated world with regard to the spiritual life of the believers?  The needs of the believing community have changed as they moved around the world and the fact remains that their children are growing among different cultural background and value systems.  When Churches look for justice from the worldly powers - the highest court in the land, rather than God's love, how can the brotherly love, the sacrificial love that was manifested on the Cross of Calvary be effectively preached to the believing community.  In this situation, how can an ordained minister be effective in the renewal and enrichment of the spiritual life of the believers.  Does our worship and sermons stay around the pulpit, or are they getting outside and producng fruits?

Verses 41-42 say, we see that the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, we have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).  And he brought him to Jesus. Some of the Biblical scholars see their immediate response as a model of Christian discipleship.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his book, The Cost of Discipleship that, "When we are called to follow Christ, we are summoned to an exclusive attachment to His person.  It is a gracious call, a gracious commandment.  Christ calls, the disciple follows:  that is Grace and commandment in one.   On two separate occasions Peter received the call, "Follow me."  It was the first and last word Jesus spoke to his disciple (Mark 1:17; John 21:22).  A whole life lies between these two calls".  

What is the mission of an ordained minister?  Just before starting His earthly ministry, Jesus proclaimed His mission statement known as the Nazareth manifesto of Jesus:  "The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61). What other mission does the Church, the Bishop, the priest, and the laity have?

Once someone came when Michelangelo was chipping away with his chisel at a huge shapeless piece of rock.  He asked the sculptor what he was doing.  "I am releasing the angel imprisoned in this marble," he answered.  Jesus is the one who sees and can release the hidden hero in every man.  Jesus says, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" (John 13:15).   


Our Gracious Father, we pray that You strengthen our ordained ministers to be effective in renewing and enriching the spiritual life of Your followers whom they serve.  Amen.

"Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost your life".  Dietrich Bonhoeffer