DAVID HERBERT has done a favour for more than just those who are to be ordained in Chester Cathedral on Saturday (though it will be a most particular joy for me to take part in the laying-on-of-hands at the moment of Patches’ ordination as a priest) …
I wanted to write a post for those who are being ordained at Chester Cathedral on Saturday. They are Avril Ravenscroft, Collette Jones, Grant Cohen, Heather Buckley, Heather Pang, Lorraine Reed, Nikki Eastwood, Patches Chabala, Paul Cumming, Rob Wardle, Sandra Langerhuizen, Stephen Callis, Steven Hildreth, Tim Watson and Trevor Legge. They will be preparing for this great event in God’s mission over the next few days. My own priesting was in Sheffield 38 years ago. I have to say that I am as enthralled today as I was then …
… God’s call and his gifts are all God’s ministry to the world and his way of serving the needs of his creation. They are also God’s ministry to us personally. Ordination focuses on God’s ministry in and to his church, and on his ministry to and through us. The joy in this realisation is, for me, personified in the great laughter of Desmond Tutu.
… done a favour by posting this glorious little video interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Archbishop Tutu presents the meaning of paradox to us in his very person; he shows us a way to stand both short and tall in a world comprised of marvellous and extraordinary diversity, love, service and wonders – “Rainbow People” amongst these – and shocking and dreadful atrocities and evil.
In Tutu there’s a deep chuckling, giggling, irrepressible confidence in the truth that sets humankind free. There’s a deep and heartfelt yearning for Truth and Reconciliation. There’s a warm, tangible, touching, hand-holding intimacy in the Archbishop’s invitation to radical hospitality and inclusion. And the giggling and the invitation bring tears to people’s eyes, and wide, wide delighted smiles of welcome and applause – by reason of delighted joy on the one hand and deep recognition of human agony on the other. Some of our young people will be blessed by the privilege of encounter with the (similarly chuckling) Dalai Lama on Saturday. I can’t wait to hear what they report of that encounter afterwards.
Look at the little (huge) guy! Listen to him. Where does Tutu get that giggling from? It seems as though it’s coming from his feet sometimes, and at other times through the pores of his skin. Oh, David, if we, and all who are to be ordained in the future, could learn a few lessons from Dr Tutu we’d see a great deal more of the reign of God. God bless this year’s ordinands, and God make all of us as generous and compassionate as the joy-filled former Archbishop of Capetown.