Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Invitation into the Sacred

Driving past green fields on long highway roads, my first trip to Minnesota was going quite smoothly. Lush trees hid the myriad of lakes that I knew existed nearby, thanks to the Google Maps application on my iPhone. An enormous Catholic church suddenly appeared on my right in the midst of the greenery. I pulled into the parking lot, wandered into the entrance, and awaited further instructions.

For the next 48 hours, I was invited into some sacred and intimate spaces in people's lives. I was in Minnesota this past weekend performing a wedding for my good friends, Nate and Pam. I know them both and love them deeply (as well as Nate's wonderful family) but I entered into a new world of family, friends, and memories as a sort of pastoral guest and observer. I had great conversations with friends I knew and strangers I had just met, with the latter offering me glimpses into their own souls as they shared personal stories with this young pastor. We laughed, some cried, there was a lot of food and dancing and merriment and life. I may never see some of these people ever again until the kingdom comes. I'm glad I met them.

As a pastor, I'm invited into people's stories. I can't force my way in there, nor should I abuse the invitation and break someone's trust. It's a sacred calling that cannot be taken lightly. Before the big wedding kiss, I said that "it is my honor and privilege" to pronounce them husband and wife. Honor and privilege. Amen.

Congrats to Nate and Pam. I thank you deeply for the invitation.

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