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God’s Calling

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 7 July 2013

Last Sunday many of us from St Martin’s went to Chelmsford for Janet Allan’s Ordination.  We arrived early and sat in the square  in the sun drinking tea and coffee.

Then we went over to the Cathedral which felt full of light.  Despite the formality of ordinations, the service was relaxed and friendly and the Bishop seemed to embrace the whole congregation and make us all feel very welcome.  “I wonder,” he asked the congregation, “if there are those in this congregation today who God is also calling.”  Next to me James, Janet’s husband, was positively glowing with joy and pride in his wife.  But the thing all of us noticed and remarked on afterwards was the way Janet herself seemed to the manner born, as though she had been ordained all of her life.  It was as though in this ordination she was becoming more fully what she always has been – a servant of God.  We often think of an ordination as taking on something, certainly religious rituals can sometimes seem so pompous.  On the contrary this ordination seemed an opening up, the visible sign of grace already at work.  It was very moving.

Later in the sun we gathered with our choir at St Augustine, Thorpe Bay for Janet’s first service.  James nudged me in the ribs to point out the stall already marked with Janet’s name and then to turn and watch her process in with the same simple confidence and reverence.  It felt so right.  Which is indeed what God’s call to each one of us is all about.  It is about becoming what we truly are: the Spirit of God enabling us to flourish.  There is this wonderful paradox, in offering ourselves in love and service to God and others, we discover ourselves.  This is not to deny the struggle, simply to recognise the fruits of the Spirit.  On this day those fruits were there for all of us to share.

Revd Richard Carter