In my office of President within Holland Classis RCA, I have the privilege of presiding at many services of ordination. For readers who are unaware, the service of ordination is the worship service during which a seminary graduate transitions from student and candidate to full-fledged Minister of Word and Sacrament. If you ever have the opportunity to attend such a service, I highly recommend it; they are truly beautiful and holy.
This past Sunday was no exception. On that day, Father's Day, Alex was being ordained and his dad, an elder in the church, participated in the service with what we call The Charge to the Minister. I'd already completed my part, leading the actual ordination which concludes with laying on of hands, so I was sitting back and taking it all in. Witnessing a father speak the charge to his son (on Father's Day!) was a beautiful thing.
And then it happened. Immediately following the charge, Alex's dad began the prayer as indicated in the RCA Liturgy. It's a nice prayer and, with as many students as we have in a seminary town, it has become familiar. What is not familiar, however, is hearing these words in the midst of it: GPS cannot establish location.
It was that or get irritated that people don't know when to turn off their phones, and, as one congregation member said, the day was too filled with hope to be brought down by a phone. So I chuckled.
I also didn't hear the rest of the prayer.
Once the chuckle passed, I realized how profound was the timing of that interruption. In that moment, we were all witness to Alex standing in a truly holy place. I have experienced the veil being lifted in services such as these--how could a poor little, human device have any hope of establishing a location?
The Kingdom of God cannot be plotted on a map. A GPS can't find it and give you directions. But, hope is not lost.
You can find the Kingdom of God all around you and you can witness glimpses of it in every face you see, in every story you hear, and, if you're paying close enough attention, even in worship.
Our worship is not perfect. Thankfully, that doesn't matter because God, through the Christ and the Spirit, can take our offerings and make them holy.
So, the next time you're on a walk in nature, or listening to the story of another, look into the eyes of someone unseen (thank you, Jayne, for that reminder!), or attend worship, look closely. Listen closely. Pay attention. Your GPS might consider you lost, but I guarantee you'll feel more found than ever before.