In God’s mysterious ways, this pandemic has served to reveal the heart and character of this congregation called Covenant Presbyterian, and I love what I see: unsurpassed generosity, overt kindness, a vigorous commitment to racial equity and justice and so much more.
As the events of this week reveal, our world needs this church to live into our calling, now more than ever, and I join the elders and staff in resolving to do so.
Perhaps Covenant’s primary strength is the astonishing array of people and gifts present in our congregation. This week, yet another class of elders — diverse in age, experience, and perspective — will be ordained into three years of servant leadership at Covenant. Like so many other recent milestone events, we will adapt our ordination service, but we trust you will find it meaningful and engaging nonetheless. You can prepare by reading this passage.
Elder ordination is an act of ’setting apart’ for a calling, but truth be told, it's a dubious honor. In fact, scripture is filled with examples of God’s propensity to use misfits and unlikely heroes to do God’s bidding. God initiates three religious traditions with a pair of childless senior citizens. God repeatedly chooses the younger over the preferred older child; Jacob, not Esau; Joseph, not the other eleven. God sends a stuttering spokesperson to confront powerful Pharaoh and makes the runt of the litter Israel’s greatest king, reminding everyone that “people look on outward appearance but God looks at the heart.”
It’s why the Apostle Paul can say with confidence to those in Corinth and all of us: "Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world … God chose what is weak in the world … God chose what is low and despised in the world… so that no one might boast in the presence of God.”
I look forward to being with you this weekend.