Skip to main content

$29.95


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?
sigh.
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.
greg.

Comments

Pete S said…
I think ordination is easily worth three easy payments of $29.95. Easily. (Although, for me, it's going to be more like three million easy payments of $29.95...)

There, ya happy now? You have been commented upon.
greg. said…
yes, thank you, pete. that's the spirit....
pete s said…
Spirit? Did you say Spirit?
Eric said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said…
I've seen these as well. A couple of years ago I was serving a part time church in central Jersey and also working at an industrial supply company. My friends there knew I was a pastor and working towards ordination. I actually had someone ask me if I had seen these posts and suggested that it appeared that there were easier roads than the one I am on.

PS thanks for the comment on my blog, it encouraged me to enter a new post today!
julid said…
The bishop came to spruce run today. galen preached a message that will linger for a long time. holly wrote and performed a song that blew the walls out of that place. ella celebrated in her family of believers. greg was accepted for ordination. guess this week was worth something. maybe not $29.95, but something.
Crafty P said…
i think you're ordination is more in the range of priceless.

i've been thinking about getting ordained myself. I didn't realize it was such a bargain. i mean, I do everything else, why not add reverend to my name, right?

ummm..... not right.

Popular posts from this blog

#thoughtsandprayers

i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

vote. and pray. but do not be afraid (the King is alive).

i'm not sure how many americans right now are feeling optimistic about the government.  i know i'm not.  in fact, while i didn't live through the civil war or anything, i have to think that faith in our elected leaders - indeed the whole system of electing them in the first place - is at one of its lowest points.  i just don't have a great deal of confidence in those individuals who have been elected, or in those who want to be.  i find myself slipping at times into what feels like a swamp of apathy: sinking, to be sure, but not sure that i care enough anymore to do much about it.  i see this attitude all around me: in conversations, on social media, and in popular culture.  perhaps there is no more clear indication of our nation's view of the government than this current election season, when we would teeter on electing liars and thieves, crooks and clowns. 

which is why i was so startled as i sat down to read psalm 72 this morning. as i read the ancient song, i…