Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Peter Rabbit Trails
From the commissioning exhortation given Sunday by my former professor and pastor, Peter Leithart, to my old chum and colleague, Toby Sumpter:
To put it simply, ordination is a call to death. In the Old Testament, worshipers laid a hand on an animal just before they slaughtered it for sacrifice. Israel laid hands on the Levites to stand in the place of the people around the tabernacle, and in that capacity they served as a boundary between the Holy God enthroned in the tabernacle and the sinful people in the camp. Ordination puts you in danger; ordination is always a call to death.Also, Peter's feature article in the current issue of Touchstone is unfortunately not online, but it is must reading for anyone interested in ecumenism. "Divine Light on Kings: Evangelical Ecumenism & the Gospel in the Story of Israel Divided" is adapted from his commentary on 1-2 Kings, which will be published later this year in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series, of which R.R. Reno is general editor. The first (and only currently) published volume in the series was Acts by Jaroslav Pelikan, who died Saturday at age 82.
[...] You are called to die by giving your life and time and energies to serving the people of the congregation you are called to. Every Christian is called to die to himself, but ordination is a specification of baptism that calls you in a particular way to follow Jesus the Good Shepherd in laying down your life for the sheep. Ordination confers authority and privilege; but that privilege and authority are cruciform or they are nothing.
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