Forty years ago tonight, I stood at the front of St. James’ Cathedral in Toronto with Ed Keeping, Bert Lang, Keith Osborne, Paul Thoms, Sharon Towne, Christobel Wade, and Marion Willms, for our licensing as evangelists in the Anglican Church of Canada and commissioning as officers in what was then the Church Army in Canada (now Threshold Ministries). I would serve for twelve and a half years as a Church Army officer before being ordained a deacon in 1990 and a priest in 1992. Today I’m pleased to still be associated with Threshold Ministries and to serve on its national board.
I was thinking this morning about that scared young man who was commissioned on May 5th 1978. What would I say to him if I had a chance to talk to him? Here are some things that came to mind:
1. God loves you. You can believe that.
2. Praying is important
3. Loving is equally important
4. Never rain on someone’s enthusiasm for Jesus
5. This is not about career advancement or comfortable jobs, it’s about sharing the Gospel
6. Decide what’s important and do your best not to get distracted by what’s not important
7. God is real. We forget this sometimes, and then we think we have to do God’s job.
8. Grace means there’s nothing we can do to make God love us less, and nothing we can do to make God love us more. God already loves us infinitely, and nothing is going to change that (thank you, Philip Yancey).
That’ll do for now.
Oh – and here we are at the front of the cathedral.