I am scheduled to be ordained into pastoral ministry February 9 at Souderton Mennonite Homes. It’s a service that affirms God’s call on me to lifelong ministry to the Church, and gives me the credentials and oversight to do so through the Franconia Mennonite Conference.
I have been almost this close to being ordained before… twice. And each time I found a reason not to accept the invitation. Each time the reason was the same. It was because I was not convinced that I was ‘called’ to this life of service to the Church – for a lifetime.
In the movie “Runaway Bride”, Maggie has a tendency to run away when it comes to a marriage commitment. Maggie has just left another groom standing at the altar, and has jumped aboard a FedEx truck as an escape route.
Ellie: Where is she going?
Fisher: I don’t know, but she’ll be there by 10:30 tomorrow.
Like Maggie, I wasn’t always sure why I ran away, but just knew it wasn’t right – knew it in that place where I discern what God is saying to me. I knew it wasn’t the time. I was not running away from God or even God’s call (in the larger sense). I have been running toward God since I was a kid, after making a serious personal commitment to God’s loving and sustaining grace at our church camp, and have always lived a life pointed towards God.
Oh, I have thrown a tantrum or two at God since then, but never veered from that early innocent desire to be connected to and in service with my Creator – to live that life that God created me for. The verses that I live by are from Psalm 139:13 – 14:
For it is you, o god, who formed my inward parts;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,
wonderful are your works;
I know that well.
Here at SMH I have found a place of ministry that fits with God’s call on my life. The time is right. I am not even tempted by all the FedEx trucks on the road! Thanks be to God for this marvelous gift!
Joy Sawatzky will be ordained at Souderton Mennonite Homes at 2pm on February 9, 2014. All are welcome to attend!