On this third anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in the Anglican Church, I have been reflecting on the many calls within this rather particular Call. A prayer that was deeply meaningful to me in the earliest days of my discernment, has stayed with me, and been much on my mind of late. Found within the pages of a booklet given to prospective ordinands and written by Roger Spillar, it sketches out this multistranded, many layered call. Naming a few of the strands, Roger’s word pictures spoke volumes to me then, and continue to do so.
So many facets within one vocation, so many different ways of expressing that call. Thankfully God doesn’t have a box marked ‘priest‘ he expects us all to fit. Fear of this potential box underlay much of my gargantuan struggle with God in the earliest days of my call towards ordination. The church down the centuries has had many a priest shaped box, sometimes even ordaining people as priests and bishops against their will.. But God I was to discover, wanted me to be me. The me, he had created and shaped.
I could write reams on this, but today I will simply keep to the prayer.
Planting your explosive news into our defended lives;
Living in your future that we receive only as a gift;
Tracing, stretching, connecting the knotted threads;
For Christ’s sake: bearing life’s absurdities and incongruities;
Welcomers of the sacred, intimate, transfiguring;
Artists and illuminators of inner space
Sowers, cultivators and nurturers of fragile lives;
Celebrating polyphony, coaxing symphony;
Strengthen and sustain us and all ministers of your church
That in the range and diversity of our vocation
We maybe catalysts of your Kingdom in the world.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.