I will be ordained on Saturday, December 20, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Arlington, VA (please join us!). As you can imagine, I'm quite excited.
The Lutheran Book of Worship Occasional Services suggests plenty of texts, all good and appropriate for an ordination, but . . . but I'm being ordained at the end of Advent, just prior to Christmas. If it were a "green" season I'd more likely select texts that focus on the ordination and tasks of ministry. But because we'll be in the midst of an intentionally sacred season of preparation and hope, I would like to choose texts from the season's lectionary to reflect the season's themes.
To that end, I turned to the Daily Lectionary (found in the back of your Evangelical Lutheran Worship pew edition, starting on page 1121) and looked at all of the texts for the days surrounding Advent 4 (I also peaked at Year A and Year C texts for the week surrounding Advent 4).
And then, breaking from my self-imposed Advent rule, I chose Isaiah 6 for the first reading, a wonderful call text which was put to music by my church choir director in high school (I'm not sure if we can get the anthem for my ordination, however – I think it was an unpublished manuscript, and quite modern. I remember practicing it for months! Not the type of song that you just pick up and sing with little preparation.)
Well, nothing is set in stone yet. I'm still playing with the texts (they're growing on my wife). Let me know what you think. Here's a link putting all the texts together.
- Isaiah 6:1-13 (see above)
- 1 Samuel 2:1-10 (as the psalmody, from the Wednesday after Advent 4. I love this text, as it points to one of my favorite texts in the Gospels, the Magnificat)
- Hebrews 1:1-2:1 (joining and extending the readings for the Thursday & Friday before Advent 4. This text rings out to me because of its strong proclamation of the Christ for whom we are waiting and preparing. This text is both a comfort to me and a reminder of the proclamation task to which I am called.)
- Mark 11:1-11 (from the Wednesday after Advent 4. This account of Palm Sunday reminds us to prepare the way for the Lord, and recalls the reason for which he came: the cross.)
I'd be thrilled to hear your feedback on these texts, either here at my blog or over on my Facebook page. Thanks!