Firsts matter. They are remembered, defining or confining us.
In the summer after a bishop laid his hands on me, with the title â€œReverendâ€ linked to my name and vocation, I servedâ€”for a first timeâ€”communion. I would marry teenaged sweethearts (they divorced a few years later), participate in baptisms, visit the dying, comfort the grieving, witness open graves and closed hearts, teach Sunday school, help celebrate Christmas, make a hundred (or more) mistakes, and once or twice I even preached.
Having wrangled a position as a student internâ€”taking a year off from seminaryâ€”I worked with several other pastors in a suburban congregation.
With a summer start, Easter was forever away. And then it came. Being ordained made it different. Though â€œonlyâ€ an intern and newbie pastor, anticipating that first Easter loomed as a pivotal experience.
Church was part of my familyâ€™s life since before I could remember. And yet, truth be told, on several childhood Easters, my church-going-Bible-believing-Christ-centered-God-loving parents announced we were home-bound.
â€œItâ€™s too crowded,â€ Mom explained. Continue reading →