Bishop Minns has approved you for ordination on November 7, 2009 at Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia. We praise God for what He has done in your life, for your commitment to Christ and for the ministry ahead of you in CANA. Our prayers are with you as you prepare to take your ordination vows.
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20
(The text has been slightly edited, removing some administrative information, and e-mail addresses in the spirit of privacy.)
Reading the text filled me with a sense of elation and and trepidation. Elation in the sense of an effervescent joy that welled up at the sense that the prayers, studies, examinations, and the waiting of the past four years were all now coming to their fruition. There was now a date marked on the calendar, the feast of Saint Willibrord of Utrecht (or November 7th in more common parlance), where my soul would receive the blessing handed down by Christ Himself to His own Apostles by means of the laying on of hands by either Bishop Minns or Bishop Bena.
On the heels of joy came a sudden fear. This wasn't a phobic moment but rather, a sudden dread that seems to strike those suddenly in the presence of the Almighty. I believe that at its core, is a sense that one is about to enter into the most holy moment of their life to date.
When Isaiah entered this moment, he could only say "woe is me for I'm ruined." Saint Peter was recorded as proclaiming "Go from me Lord, for I'm a sinful man." Even the God-fearing Centurion sensed his utter unworthiness to stand in the presence of the Divine.
There is a comfort and confidence to quash this dread. Christ's atoning death, resurrection and ascension, and the Father's election has allowed those in Christ to stand in His presence. It's not us, no in and of our selves we're still waterlogged turds worthy of the eternal flush. Yet in Christ and through Christ, we can enter into the presence of the Mighty One in the faith of knowing that we won't be smoking ash.