when i visited my blog this morning to see if i had any comments (no comments? what's up people?) i saw this ridiculous ad on the sidebar:
get ordained today! perform weddings and funerals in any church. click here to find out more.
right. i just spent 10 years of sweat and prayer and struggle and school and meetings and process and all i had to do was spend $29.95 and i could have been officially ordained?
it makes me wonder what is the value of ordination to our culture as a whole. when people are looking for a 'priest,' as they often say, do they really care if that person is ordained or not? i doubt it.
i guess for me the value of the ordination is in the recognition of the church that my vocation is indeed a ministry of word, sacrament, order and service. the book of discipline says it this way, "elders are ordained ministers who, by God's grace, have completed their formal preparation and have been commissioned and served as a probationary member, have been found by the church to be of sound learning, of Christian character, possessing the necessary gifts and evidence of God's grace, and whose call by God to ordination has been confirmed by the church."
that seems to like its worth a whole lot more than $29.95. it is at least $49.95.
in this consumer culture, everything's for sale. and the value of everything is diminished. as a Christian and a sharer of good news, i believe i am called to help people see the real value in some things. i believe part of my good news-telling is in redeeming certain ideas that seem to have lost their worth in our culture: things like hope and trust and, above all, love.