Now it’s official, I’ve been ordained

On Sunday, April 26, 2009, I was ordained as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Now, I am authorized to administer Word and Sacraments. This took place at my home congregation of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saskatoon, SK Canada. I will be taking a call in a small rural parish in Davidson and Loreburn, SK.

Immediately after my ordination, a seminary classmate posed a light-hearted but interesting question to me. He asked: “Was there an ontological change after ordination?” Theologically-speaking, I don’t think so…or at least I didn’t feel any different after being ordained. Roman Catholic theology speak of an ontological change effective at the sacrament of ordination but Lutherans and Anglicans do not see ordination as a sacrament or see the pastor any different before one was ordained. Calvin and Luther saw that the only thing different is that one is called to a task that is set apart from that of the lay person.

Is “once a priest, always a priest?” Psalm 110:4 and Hebrews 5:6 says: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” However, this refers to Jesus himself

Peter says: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…” (1 Peter 2:9, TNIV). This verse refers to God’s holy people.

Hebrews also refers to Jesus as the great high priest, but to also to an earthly high priest in Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10. “Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins” (Heb. 5:1, TNIV).

So who can be a priest? Do we only have one priest in Jesus, or can we have many priest, as in the priesthood of all believers? Can ordination make one a priest before God?

(Note: The larger photo is of the bishop of my synod, and of my parents, wife and daughter. The small group photo of the pastors and classmates has been reduced in order to keep their anonymity. It’s a tradition to pose for a large clergy group photo after ordination.)

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Author: Kevin S.

A follower of Jesus, a husband and a father. Hobbies include biking, keeping fish if they don't die on me, blogging when I can, theologizing and ministry, and pondering about world affairs.

9 thoughts on “Now it’s official, I’ve been ordained”

  1. Congratulation!

    You said that “Roman Catholic theology speak of an ontological change effective at the sacrament of ordination but Lutherans and Anglicans do not see ordination as a sacrament or see the pastor any different before one was ordained. Calvin and Luther saw that the only thing different is that one is called to a task that is set apart from that of the lay person.”I think you have painted with too broad a brush. Calvin wrote in the 1543 edition of the Institutes, “There remains the laying on of hands. I concede that it is a sacrament in true and lawful ordinations” but whilst it has no power or efficacy in itself it does have power and efficacy that “depend solely on the Spirit of God.”

    Do check out Peter Leithart’s The Priesthood of the Plebs: A Theology of Baptism and his The Baptized Body

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  2. Thanks my friends. I know I may look almost like an RC priest but I’m not.

    Richard, thanks for the link to the book.

    Like

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