Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reflections on a Licensing Service... and the Great Leap Backwards

I went to the licensing service last night for three Ministry Student's (Ordinands???) in my denomination. A Licencing is the process by which the church recognises students who have done their formation as being ready to serve as ordained ministers. It was great to go and celebrate that occasion... here are the future leaders of our church... But I found myself rather disorientated by what took place. The worship while very Presbyterian (done in good order) was all about the past... it did not reflect the present or the future, and the challenge of doing ministry in a city with an average age of 33.3 years of age.

Hymns to the pipe organ? there was a youth choir... that did a traditional Pacific choral piece and they were great. But I couldn't help but wonder ...

...are we licencing these new ministers to serve a church that is lost in some sort of time warp?
... As a church this twenty first century world we live in is our mission field, this is our home, this is where we the church are calling you to lead... Just maybe that was being said and I missed it... maybe it was we want you to led in the great leap backwards.

At the same time my daughter is working on a speech for school...She has to chose  a book and a song that inspire her. the song she chose echos in my head as I write this... she's had it playing on repeat for the past two days. It's U2's 'walk on' and the lyrics that always speak to me are

'You're packing your suit case for a place you've never been
a place that has to be believed to be seen'

yes there is some stuff we take with us... but we have to

 ... 'walk on'

And heed  the haunting lament that happens at the end of the song as the lyrics call us to leave it behind for the sake of a vision of a greater future.

Leave it behind
You got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you feel
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress-up
All that you scheme...

In the concert at Slane castle captured on the DVD U2 Going Home the song finishes with a cry of alleluia, alleluia... walk on, leave it behind and walk into the embrace of Christ who waits for us in a new future.

So here is a licensing gift from me...

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