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I Ask God to Help Me

November 16, 2020

“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

Yesterday afternoon, our new associate pastor, Troy Medlin, was ordained to the ministry of Word and sacrament at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Due to COVID restrictions, my family and I participated through the livestream of the service (more on that below). It was a wonderful service with a good Word. My family all agreed that our favorite part was when Ole placed the stole over Troy’s shoulders.

But what most struck me yesterday were the questions. At an ordination, each ordinand is asked a series of questions. To paraphrase, they are asked if they believe the call comes from God, if they will preach and teach in accordance with the scriptures, creeds and confessions, if they will live their lives steeped in prayer and the means of grace, and if they will be a faithful witness to God’s love in the world.

These four questions come with a preface: “Before almighty God, to whom you must give account, and in the presence of this assembly, I ask.” Before almighty God, to whom you must give account. No pressure there!

Four times yesterday, Troy answered, “I will, and I ask God to help me.”

Amen and amen. The only possible way we can live out this call is with God’s help. As Paul makes clear, the whole thing smacks of foolishness. Give your whole life’s energy in service to a gospel based on the crucifixion of an itinerant rabbi from no-account Nazareth? It’s crazy. It’s also the only hope for this world. For out of Jesus’ death we are reborn, resurrected as participants in God’s project of restoration as living signs of the Kingdom that will one day dawn.

Troy’s going to need God’s help. God knows I have over these last seventeen years, each and every day. On the other hand, everything needful has already been done, gifted to us in Christ. We’re just along for the ride, helping God’s people catch glimpses of grace as they live out their God-given vocations in the world.

Welcome aboard, Pastor Troy! I’m thrilled that you and Ole are part of the Grace family. Enjoy your day off. We’ve got work to do tomorrow!

As promised, a note about worshipping via livestream. So I really haven’t done that before. I’m always on the other side of the camera. I think I need more practice! Too many distractions (especially until the Packers sealed the deal on that victory). I’m sure I’d get used to it eventually, but I think I’ll keep my day job.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of the church, you have entrusted to us the sacred mysteries of the gospel. Help Troy and all your people live faithfully in our varied vocations. Bless Troy and Grace as we grow together as pastor and people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Enjoying Pastor Troy’s ordination in our Sunday finery.

From → COVID-19

One Comment
  1. Marnie permalink

    May Troy and Ole expand the family of Grace and may we welcome them as our beloved brothers with arms wide open; in Jesus name Amen!

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