Ordination Text Update

I ditched the first draft of Bible readings for my upcoming ordination after they were met with luke-warm responses . . . and truth be told, I wasn't in love with them as ordination texts.  But I've had a hard time choosing my ordination texts, recognizing that this isn't an occasion to simply choose my favorite bible texts (as if it were a great hits or a mix tape of sentimental favorites).  Indeed, some of my favorite texts – Romans 8, Luke 1, the stories in the Elijah cycle – are wonderful, but don't quite speak to unique setting of an ordination.

So I took another stab at it, and leaned on an old rule I try hard not to forget (but which I had forgotten in this case) – trust the tradition.  Our liturgical tradition has handed down to us a variety of texts that are customarily used for the ocassion of an ordination.  Why try to re-invent the wheel?  I read through each of the suggested texts – about ten texts are suggested for each reading – and pretty easily selected readings for the first three readings:

Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 103
Romans 10:13-17a

But still, none of the suggested Gospel texts spoke to me.  So I tried to think of stories from the Gospels that speak to the tasks of ministry but which wouldn't unduly elevate the ordinand.  I landed on Mark 9:33-41, which contains two quick anecdotes about ministry –

  • first, Mark's version of the "let the children come to me" text where Jesus embraces and identifies himself with a child (ie, the low, weak, marginalized, unaccomplished);
  • second, the story in which Jesus' disciples trying to stop someone else – who was not "one of them" – from casting out demons in Jesus' name.  Jesus rebukes the disciples, telling them that "whoever is not against us is for us."  I figure that it is good to begin ministry by being reminded to whom it is we're called to minister, and that no one person or group of people has a monopoly on the ministry.

Click here for all the texts.  Thanks!

About Chris Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. National Guardsman. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.
This entry was posted in Faith & the Church, Liturgy, Lutheran, Vocation. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ordination Text Update

  1. Ohjulie says:

    Funny story. I am picking commissioning texts right now, and was wondering if it was lame to use the texts suggested in the outline of the commissioning. Thanks for the affirmation that we don’t need to “reinvent the wheel” :]

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