"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

19 February 2012

Interdependence in Ministry

One of the wonderous things about being a deacon lies in what we can't do. We can't, for example, consecrate the Eucharist.

This isn't a big deal in my life most of the time. I have friends who are called to the priesthood say that the inability to consecrate the Eucharist really haunted them in the time when they were deacons, but not so among vocational deacons.

Except when it proves a point of major inconvenience. Like this weekend; Father is sick.

Thankfully, I have a friend who has a Saturday night service and is always willing to bail me out of a tight spot. The church isn't far off, so its an extra couple hours out of my schedule that get replaced with an opportunity to worship in the pews instead of being in the chancel all the time. Rather relaxing. And its a nice time to visit with a friend who I don't see as often as I'd like. Not a problem.

But the beauty in it lies in the fact that this is a visible witness of how Christians, with our various gifts and callings, need one another. God doesn't gift any of us with everything; instead he calls us into community. And a visible token of that is my need to rely on a priest for Eucharist. Even when I'm the one being relied upon, it doesn't happen in a vacuum. There's a team at the ready, willing and able to stand together to make God's work a reality for his people.

That's pretty darned cool.

(And thanks to the priest, deacon, and congregation at Christ Church, New Brighton, for once again welcoming me and my squirmy little kids. Last night was great fun!)


  1. I never felt haunted not celebrating the Euch when I was a deacon

  2. I suspect that is more of a result of your sacramental theology than your vocation, David. Nonetheless, though I wasn't referring to you personally, you're still the kind of person of whom I was writing.

  3. I think some of this is really an issue of deployment. If transitional deacons were given truly diaconal assignments in ministry during their "transition," I doubt this would be as much of an issue. But usually they're placed in positions where they function as presbyters "in all ways but one."