Monday, December 31, 2012

The Presentation Veneer of Ministry

Bagels afford me opportunities.

Besides my copious carbohydrate intake in eating bagels that fuel my day, I deliver bagels. This part-time job helps my family save; this part-time job allows me to observe more of life than I did as a full-time pastor.

Whereas the pastoral role provides me VIP status into the sacred milestones of life--birth, death, illness, communion, marriage, baptism, holidays, the fact that people listen to me for 15 minutes at a time once per week--I wonder. Is the mundane any less sacred? While delivering bagels I see people in their daily routines without a presentation veneer shown to a pastor. While delivering bagels, I see people toil with day to day business decisions. I see people physically labor to provide for their households. I see people traverse urban paths, sometimes because it's their home, occasionally to pass the time, often because auto transport is too expensive.

The best way to describe the presentation "veneer" to pastors? When I deliver bagels, no one ever apologizes to me for their vulgarities. It makes me wonder what I really see as a pastor. The perceived sacred-secular divide is blurry at best.

1 comment:

  1. Great surprise there.

    Years ago my "should I seek ordination" inquiry came screeching to a interior and exterior halt when I realized that even if I had the right to do so, I wouldn't wear a collar in public because it would limit my ability to minister.

    After that revelation, which really hit me hard, I had an easier time settling into accepting my call as a lay minister. Not that I always feel settled into that but then are we ever fully settled into our call to any vocation?