Saturday, June 26, 2004

Ordained waiters

I went to an ordination in Llandaff today, and re-visited my old theological college. I was surprisingly heartened to hear of the changes that have been made there. It was also a chance to catch up with some friends from training days.

The ordination service was for deacons (Llandaff's new priests will be ordained tomorrow), so we had the reading from Acts 6 about the appointment of the first deacons. What struck me was the reason the apostles give for appointing the deacons: "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables" (Acts 6.2).

It's a tempting mindset for any Christian leader. But in the way that the church, at least in its Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox versions, has come to organise its ministry all ordained ministers are deacons. Priests and bishops must be deacons, or they cannot be ordained to the other orders. All of us have to wait on tables as the foundation of our ministry. Preaching the word of God, for those of us ordained as deacons or priests (and even bishops), depends on waiting tables.

My prayers today are for David and all the others being ordained in the next couple of weeks.

1 comment:

maggi said...

I like that - I've often used the analogy of a waiter to describe what a deacon/priest does. And of putting on robes as being like putting on your black clothes and apron ready to serve...