Prayer for the Day - Roger Hutchings
Good morning to you. This afternoon I hope to be present at a service of ordination. Indeed I hope to attend another one tomorrow. For three years, I’ve accompanied students as they were trained for Christian ministry. I wonder what image you have in mind as I mention these students. These are men and women who are middle-aged for the most part, and include a police officer, a nurse, a teacher and a psychiatrist. All of them have continued to work as they studied, so their commitment has been extraordinary. Imagine having to write substantial essays when it’s been decades since you did such a thing. And alongside the academic work, imagine the practical training to lead public worship, to preach sermons and to offer loving care to anyone whom they will come across in their new role. These are indeed serious people!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
These ordinands will be both excited and fearful this morning. They’ll have been on retreat for several days in preparation for these big cathedral services, and they’ll be hoping their new dog collars and robes will fit – and that they won’t trip up at some solemn moment. At a deeper level, they’ll be properly fearful of what it will mean to be deacons or priests, and they’ll wonder whether they have the gifts to fulfil their intended ministry.
‘Vocation’ is a big word. It means in this context a calling from God, tested and affirmed by the Church. And the promise which will sustain these students today and for the future is that those who are called by God will receive from God the gifts and graces they need.
Veni, Creator Spiritus. Grant to all your servants, gracious God, the presence of your Holy Spirit today, to guide and inspire us. Amen.