Ordination: “I found Fluency but not roar”

rick

Today is the forty-first anniversary of my ordination to the Christian ministry. It is hard to believe that such time has gone by.

When I was a young man I became friends with the minister and poet Arnold Kenseth. I have written about him here. But this poem of his on ordination always seem to strike the right notes of humility and awe about what it means to be a minister.

Ordination

I was anointed. A fire. Yes, I tell you.
An adazzle. His rare thump numbed me, awed
Me down to size and up to Him. Prayed, pawed
By the laying on of hands, myself anew
And aloft; I became lion to roar Him,
Eagle to lift Him, donkey to bear Him. I,
In that sunburst, languaged with seraphim,
Promised myself to be (Ha!) His emissary.

I did not, friends, manage much. True, I found
Fluency, but not roar. I have been sparrow;
And though jackass as most, I could not be least
Even for Him. He was scarlet and vast
And radiant and restful. He sang such sound
I heard the earth unloose itself from sorrow.

(Arnold Kenseth, Seasons and Sceneries, Windhover Press, 2002)

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3 thoughts on “Ordination: “I found Fluency but not roar”

  1. Very nice honey… Who is that guy in the robe? Congratulations on the anniversary of your ordination! xo

    Sent from my iPad

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  2. Congratulations, Rick on your 45th! Thank you for this amazing Kenseth poem. I remember heading to my ordination service with a completely functional view of ordination: You know, for decency and order within the church…we set apart a few to preach and administer sacraments. Ho hum. And was totally blown away when on that Pentecost, the Spirit moved through those prayers and hands – and created something in me or threw a switch – that caused me to preach and pray and feel far differently than before that service – like a fire that gave me a new passion and courage to march less fearfully for justice. I was prepared for a mere formality– but experienced an internal remodeling!! Rick – thanks for all you have done thus far for God through the churches and the Church. You’ve been a great pastor and teacher. Felicidades! And Martha, Congratulations to you, too! Dealing with a clergy spouse for 45 years is no small achievement!!! Hugs all around. Rev Dr Steve Wayles

    • Thanks, Steve for the kind words. I was up on the ANTS Hill this week, and saw many old friends. And I thought of you playing the organ at Colby chapel. A bittersweet couple of days. But God is always doing new thing, so we wait to see where we are called to go next!

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