“…among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” [John 12:20-21]
In this year of firsts as bishop, I had the blessed opportunity on Tuesday of Holy Week to preside over my first Renewal of Vows and Blessing of Oils service. This is known in some traditions as the Chrism Mass. It’s a day when clergy, associates in ministry, and deaconesses renew the vows they made when they were ordained, commissioned or consecrated. Among the vows the group renewed is a promise “to share in Christ’s ministry of love and service in the world.”
One of our former bishops, the Rev. Marcus Miller, considered this liturgy the high point of his time as bishop of the synod. As a parish pastor, I also found it gratifying and rejuvenating to my ministry.
On Tuesday, the joy I felt was indescribable. We welcomed three new clergy candidates who will be graduating from seminary in May. They took part in the service. The congregational singing is always inspiring. The people were fed with both word and sacrament. I preached on the Gospel according to John the 12th chapter, focusing primarily on the two verses quoted above. My homily was entitled, “Sir, We Wish to See Jesus.”
I won’t reprint the entire sermon here because it was very long – over 3,000 words. What several people did, however, was take photos, a gallery of which I am including in this post. It the old adage is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, these photos tell a better story than I could.
I wish all of you a blessed Holy Week and a Joyous Easter.