Monday Morning Musings [08/23/10]

Yesterday I was officially installed as the minister of my new congregation.  "Installed."  Sounds like I'm the new toilet that's just been put in.  Or the new brakes put on the car.  When those who first decided what to call this service of officially putting the minister into a congregation, why did they have to call it being "installed"?  I mean, it sounds so plain, so ordinary.  Why not some fancy name, with some fancy honorific title added to the name of the one being, um, installed?  The church has been good at coming up with big names for things we talk about in the church (sanctification, edification are just a couple which pop into my head), and all we can come up with is "installation"?  It makes me wonder if there is some warranty that the church takes out on me, in case there's a flaw in what has been installed.Well, for whatever reason, but maybe because I was being "installed," I didn't enter into the service with much focused attention, although I was relieved because I didn't have to preach.  However, then the regional minister read these words during the service, as part of my vow:...

"that I promise to be their shepherd by loving them, teaching them, nurturing them, sustaining them, and equipping them so that by God's strength and grace you and this congregation may faithfully accomplish God's mission for the salvation of all persons to the glory of God and not our own."

In hearing and reading that statement, I was reminded that this service wasn't some mere installation, it wzs me vowing to be and do what I am so uncomfortable, and at times even very bad at, being and doing.  To love ...to teach...to equip??? Who are they, that I should do this for them and with them?  And even more, who the hell am I, that I should do this for them and with them?  And then the kicker, that they and I are to do what we do for the salvation of all, to the glory of God.  "What?"  "How?"   All I can say in response to my own questions here, is "God help us."  And now I am gonna poke around to see about the warranty the church took out on me.

By Scott Rollins