It seems that one ought to take some kind of pledge when one is ordained. So I wrote out a pledge that I make tonight in your presence. It is not a pledge I make to you. It is a pledge that I make to Christ. Here is the pledge.
As a servant of Christ, my Lord and King, I pledge to Him my highest love, my utmost loyalty, and my complete obedience at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.
No one, especially me, will keep this pledge perfectly. But that is my intent and desire and, with God's help, I will do the best that I can to keep it.
If I truly intend to keep this pledge, then there are certain things that I will need to do, certain attitudes that I must have, and certain things that I must remember. Here is my list. There are certainly more things that I will need to do, and if you think of other items I should add to the list, please let me know. But here is my list.
- If I intend to keep this pledge, I will delight in God first and foremost and will never forget His amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.
- I will always remember how God turned my grief at the loss of Joshua into dancing. So I will laugh more and celebrate more and dance more because God is good and His love endures forever.
- I will go to more parties and make new friends like Jesus did--a great way to spread the message of hope.
- I will enjoy the unique wrinkles of God's image in every personality.
- I will take more walks with Louise and gaze in wonder at all of the colors of the setting sun.
- I will do less in order to do more of what truly matters.
- I will be kinder and gentler, less judgmental.
- I will figure out how to teach God's truth while reflecting God's love and grace.
- I will pray more about everything.
- I will engage in acts of compassion to help the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged like Jesus did.
- I will feel the pain of the approximately 30,000 children who die every day in our world because of malnutrition and related causes and will do something about it.
- I will grieve more about the roughly 50,000 people who die every day without Christ and will do something about it.
- I will point people to the Prince of Peace and will work for the day when nations will train for war no more and will beat their swords into plowshares.
- No matter how deep the valley, no matter how dark the day, I will always trust in God, remembering that one day He will set all things right.
- I will never forget that there is a Name that is above every name and that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Until that day, we will invite all people to bend the knee to Christ in this life.
Glory to God. Amen.