ast week I spent a few days in Devon at the wonderful Community of Mary and Martha at Sheldon. The community was set up specifically for clergy although they take other Christians and hold quiet days and conferences. I had a small apartment specifically kept for clergy and was able to spend the first three days in solitude, walking, praying and studying. My aim was to try and get my head around the next step- for on Saturday I shall be ordained priest.
It seems strange to talk about getting my head round it- after all isn't that what the last few years have been all about? yet somehow with my ordination to the Diaconate and the year spent being a curate I felt I had got it- got what God had called me for. And so I have spent time trying to understand what this 'extra' is that I shall receive on Saturday. Yes I shall be able to take weddings and more importantly preside at the Eucharist- but it seems such a big deal over what feels like just two more functions of my 'job'. I use inverted commas because of course this is far more than a job. As an ordained priest I shall be changed- and perhaps only t the other side after the ordination will I be able to start to understand what that change is. It may be that it will take the rest of my life to really understand.
So here I sit preparing to go on the Diocesan pre-ordination retreat with my fellow deacons and the new deacons to be ordained in the Cathedral on Sunday, and I still woder- what si it all about.
My prayer is
Father take me deeper into you,
make me more fully what you want me to be
and use me according to your plans
As I typed the use me- I was reminded of the words in the Covenant prayer of the Methodist church used each new year- " let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you," and I ask myself again am I really prepared to be laid aside as well as used.
Only God knows what the future will bring, but I continue to pray that my life will be dedicated to being what God wants and doing what He wants.
See you all at the other side.