Monday, 2 February 2015

Anniversary of Ordination as a Deacon

I am writing this at about the time, 35 years ago, the service of Ordination was taking place at St Peter's Cathedral Adelaide
I had spent a whole year carefully going through the Ordination Service in A Prayer Book for Australia, each morning after the Eucharist thinking and praying about the climax of what my theological training had been all about
I was ordained a deacon by Archbishop Keith Rayner on Feb 2nd 1980.
At the time I was wondering why I was being ordained a deacon....since I knew I was actually called to be a priest! (That ordination happened is our Anglican custom a year later)
I did realise two or three years later that as a priest working as most of us do, in a parish, or hospital..I spent most of my time doing the work of a deacon. 

Of the 60 hours or so I usually seemed to work a week...ten were probably specifically priestly and the rest were diaconal functions...seeking out the needy, the poor and tending to the sick.
Since then, women have been ordained as deacons...and indeed also as  priests ... and finally as bishops, in  Anglican and other churches. {Some still perpetuate a prejudice and discrimination which the scriptures seem fain to support which would exclude women...shame on them}
That's a whole other question.....
On this weekend we celebrate ..the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Feb 2nd...sometimes also called The Purification...but that's another sexist story!)

It is an opportune time to think about vocation. Mary and Joseph ...presenting Jesus in the Temple (40 days after his birth)[ see for example Luke 2:22-40] meet a couple of spiritual folk..Simeon and Anna...who say  .....It's good for you to bring your child for God's blessing!   But God has more in store for your child...than you do!!
Those of us who have children and grandchildren know how true that might be.
It is certainly true of my own 'vocation'
What ever else I thought God should endow and bless
God's plans have always been some what different..absolutely better. Not always to my liking.
But always right.
I have not found it easy to be a priest (or a deacon) 

but the sense of God's love and support, 
of God's purpose has only strengthened through adversity.  
I suspect it is so for most of us who celebrate anniversaries of ordination at this, and other, times

1 comment:

Juliaba said...

Happy anniversary.....mine tomorrow! 25 years.