Recently I surpassed the ten year anniversary of my ordination, so I thought I would take a moment to reflect on what ten events or moments are on my top 10 list (though not necessarily in any order).
10. Funerals. Yes I would take a funeral over a wedding any day, but there is something so profound about sharing God’s love and comfort as a loved one is mourned and a life is celebrated.
9. Weddings. Ok sure I hate the drama and there is usually drama, but being a part of the creation of a covenant between God and a couple is humbling and inspiring.
8. Communion. I find communion to be one of the most intimate and moving experiences in my ministry. Being able to break bread at table together is really reconciliation at its most authentic.
7. Transition from life to death. When I was a chaplain at the hospital death and trauma and fear ran rampant. However, in the liminal space between life and death God’s hands truly hold people in ways I never thought possible. It is an honor to be invited into moments of death wherein God’s grace is like a warm blanket of peace.
6. Proclaiming the Word. I believe God wants us to be the best person we can be and learn from the many experiences before us. It is shocking just how many times God’s word stuns me with a new revelation that I needed in that moment.
5. The power of prayer. While I think most pastors would say they pray regularly, really be present to the small still voice in your life (the Holy Spirit) is tough as that voice often gets crowded out by, well, everything else. Prayer is a reminder that we don’t always get what we want but also that sometimes we get what we didn’t realize we need. Prayer is an invitation to be vulnerable and just be, both of which are difficult for most of us, but good exercise nonetheless.
4. God is good. It is awesome how many ways in which God has brought people and opportunities before me so as to challenge, enrich, nurture and nourish my sense of self and my ministry.
3. Every moment that I am surprised by ministry – which is most of the time. I find myself surprised by the way God makes me laugh (mostly at myself) and fills me with wonder (as when I regularly see eagles soaring overhead whilst I drive).
2. Baptism. Nothing like the frailty of a baby at baptism to remind me how blessed I am serve others.
1. Mission trips, mission projects, mission statements, mission, etc. Discerning ways to further God’s realm on earth while loving one another and creation makes me really believe I can be the change I want to see in the world.