If you caught my post from the a few days ago you probably concluded that my credentials have finally arrived; part of the application to legally perform marriage ceremonies in the state of WV includes providing proof of ordination and a letter of good standing with your affiliated organization.
I must admit, I was anxiously awaiting them for a couple of weeks, hoping with each mail delivery they would be a part of the day’s incoming letters and packages. When they did finally arrive I was pretty impressed with them; they are definitely accurately depicted on the website and were exactly what I expected them to be – with one major difference: I felt no different having documents in hand than I did before I received them.
You see, I know that I am ordained by God to do the work He has called me for. I have also been validated by my Brothers and Sisters and peers in my calling and abilities. I don’t want to sound high-minded but many have commented that I am a very good Bible teacher yet I feel totally inadequate for the task. In truth I really only needed these documents for man’s law, not god’s calling. I did, to be honest, desire them to show that I had indeed accepted this call from God to do the work He has appointed to me. I like to equate it a little bit like baptism to a believer: baptism is an act of good conscious toward God setting oneself apart from the world (1 Peter 3:21) – ordination is kind of like a minister’s baptism (if that makes it a little clearer than mud).
So while I needed these things to be able to perform certain rites and rituals under man’s laws, I felt no different, no more validated or “preacher-like”, by having them. But I am glad to have them and glad for the organization that helped me obtain them independently, as well as all those that encouraged and affirmed my calling along the way.