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Euntes ergo docete omnes gentes

May 23, 2010

On the occasion of an ordination today to Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, we are well to remember the two thousand years of witness that we trace – through hands laid upon heads – across time and space to the Apostles themselves. And despite much tumult and blundering within the modern Church, we hold fast to our hope that generations of clergy present and yet to come will abide by Christ’s own, original charge to his disciples on Easter day. It was not to make everyone feel good, nor to put out the best coffee hour, nor to create an insular community where no hearts are searched. The task before us could be no simpler:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt 28:18-20)

This passage is prescribed for an ordination by no American and no British prayer book, and yet it describes the heritage of the true Church: to go, having met Christ, and teach all nations, baptizing them along the way. It is a task that must be renewed in every age, and so it falls to each generation not to coast on the witness of its fathers, but to renew its faith by word met with action, to step into the large shoes left from ages past. In all these things, Christ shall be with us, even unto the end of the world.

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