One of the images I’ll carry away with me from Monday’s session was not something I actually saw myself at all.
As I blogged below, +Lindsay gave us a full account of Derek Spencer’s ordination…with lots to ponder.
The Bishop asks his ordinands to carry a wooden cross over their shoulders as they come to ordination. Eden, the congregation to which Derek was ordained, meets in a school hall, with raked seating, so his walk to the altar was down the steps of the auditorium, the cross clunking behind him each step of the way. By the time he prostrated himself in front of the Bishop, there was no room for doubt about the shape of life and ministry he was entering into.
That is such a terrifying reminder of something it’s too easy to overlook as I immerse myself in parish ministry with all its intense joy and maddening triviality. I may weep with those who weep, grind my teeth over the surfeit of meetings, the plethora of papers…but how often do I remember that I’m called to a cross-shaped life?
Yes, it is life in all its fulness, but the route is via the cross, which we are to take up each and every day.