On Ministry

A poster over at 4&20 Blackbirds complains about the use of the term “your ministry.”  A commenter notes that what was likely meant was “the minitsry entrusted to your care.”

I wish people would learn the english language.

The word “ministry” is by definition an authority from one person which is entrusted to another.  So to speak of “my ministry” is to speak of that which has been entrusted to me by the Lord.  The ONLY way that any of this argument makes sense at all is if one assumes that Christ is ministering for the Father, and that he then sub-entrusts it to us.  So that we are really under-ministers.  But that is really stretching things, since Holy Scripture doesn’t really speak that way.

It reminds me of the guys who (technically correct but still) instisted that pastors be referred to as “under-shepherds”.  I once heard a sermon at the Sem where the term was used about 50 times.

So what are we to call this strange breed who hold The Office of The Holy Ministry?  Well, perhaps ministers.  And perhaps we can offer a blessing to a man who holds this ministry by saying “Blessings on your ministry” – that is to say “Blessings on that which has been entrusted to you from above.”

I’m always saying to my kids “Words matter”.  But they matter only when they are defined correctly.  I feel sorry for this seminarian who will now think, based on the authority of a man who is highly respected, that it is not “his ministry” when he is ordained.

If it isn’t “His ministry” then he bloody well better not do it.

And that’s a wrap : Two catechesis classes, Divine Service and a Baptism today.  No more time to tear up the vineyard.

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