My wife just left me a very sweet card on the computer - today is the 20th anniversary of my ordination. I can't believe that it has been so long. Many things to look back on in those years and plead for God's mercy and forgiveness. Many thanks to God that the ministry depends not upon the holiness or character of those who hold the office. Many thanks to God that He delights to work also through broken vessels.
A secret? I still struggle with preaching. To teach is something that I absolutely delight in - and I love the "back and forth" of discussion, but to stand in the pulpit makes me more than a tad nervous. Who am I to stand as the emissary of the Lord? How can I get myself out of the way to serve up the good things the Lord has for His people? And what absolutely drives me bonkers? Seeing a question cross someone's face in a sermon and NOT be able to stop and say: "What are you thinking?"
For the unspeakable privilege, though, of standing in the pulpit to proclaim the best news that anyone will ever hear; for the unspeakable privilege of pouring water in the divine name and knowing that a new birth has been bestowed; for the unspeakable privilege of laying hands upon penitents and imparting a forgiveness as certain on earth as it is in heaven; for the unspeakable privilege of consecrating and distributing our Lord's body and blood - holding the divine life in my hands and putting that life into the mouths of those I love; for the unspeakable privilege of ministering at the bedside of the sick and the dying; for the unspeakable joy of instructing children in all that God has given them; for all these blessings and so many, many more:
Gloria tibi, Christe!