My son just graduated from the seminary and received his first call into the pastoral ministry. Just a few days ago I received permission from his district president to do his ordination at our church. Sweet.
Now I’ve only been to two ordinations in my life. The first was my own, in June of 1986 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Coventry, CT, my first parish. That seems like a long, long time ago. The second was for one of our vicars when he graduated. Now that I am planning a service and preparing a sermon, I wish I had been paying closer attention.
On the one hand, it’s not too hard. The Order of Vespers with the Rite of Ordination before the Collects. With a hymnal and an Agenda, a piece of cake. Worship folder? Plenty of templates to work from. Cover? That’s a little tougher. I thought I could find one to buy, but church publishing houses print stock very few. I can make my own, right? I found a picture to go with one of the texts he picked. Should work.
Now, a sermon. An ordination sermon. For my son. Hmm. Over the last twenty-seven years, I’ve preached somewhere around 1,000 times. But never for an occasion like this. I like all the texts he picked: Isaiah 6:1-8, 2 Timothy 1:8-14 and Matthew 9:35-38. I’m going to go with the harvest, prayer, laborers text of Matthew’s gospel. It’s time to get to work. I didn’t baptize him (I wasn’t yet a pastor when he was born), but I did confirm him and marry him and his wife. Now I get to ordain him! Like I said, sweet.
He doesn’t remember it, but he attended my ordination. Now I get to go to his. This is definitely one of the perks and blessings of being a pastor. And maybe a good way to begin an ordination sermon.