Ordination Charge to Ben (By Glen Knecht)
Today I want to charge you to approach your ministry with the eyes, the perspective of our Lord Jesus.
Ever the Realist, Christ was also the Artist. He is positive and creative in the way He sees people and God’s Kingdom. We might call His “the artistic approach to the ministry of the Gospel”. I refer to the way the artist frames his subject so that he can have the most light and beauty reflect on the whole. He does not emphasize weakness or defects, but rather the radiant essence of his subject.
That is what the Lord Jesus did with Nathaniel. The poor man was thinking of himself as a nobody from an obscure place who was utterly incapable of producing anything good.
But Jesus saw what careless eyes could never see. They would pass over the mysterious connection between heaven and earth, but Jesus saw something else, something wonderful in Nathaniel’s face. He penetrated the veil of the fig tree with which Nathaniel thought he could hide his nothingness. There Jesus saw the precious heart of faith which would cry out “You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”
Jesus took the artistic view of Nathaniel that made of him a faithful follower, a chosen Apostle, that stayed with Him through the Cross and the Resurrection and beyond -– all the way to Heaven itself.
Ben, I want to charge you to have these same eyes., the eyes of the artist as you come to your work -an ordained minister of the Gospel. Have eyes that will see people differently, When others dismiss them – you will delight in them,
And look at your Church through the prism of the artist. Instead of seeing her deficiencies, her doubts, her divisions, you will see her glories, her greatness, her destiny to reign with Christ, her glorious groom.
And I call you to see yourself through these same glasses. Overlook , if you can, your fears and foibles, and failures, and search for the hidden talents God has placed within you. Go deep within your soul and mine the pure ore of the unique personality you are.
Most of all I charge you to take the artistic view of God Himself. He is the Author of beauty and music, of great food and of a marvelously unimaginable future for His people. Cast off any low constructions you may of Him. Always place the highest and most creative motive on His acts of providence , even on the hard Providences which we experience. God is always good. Bad things don’t happen to good people. Everything that comes to us will work for our eternal good. See God in this light and show this portrait of God to your people every Sunday. And you will be what they want you to be – a ministerial artist- and a happy pastor.