Elders in the United Methodist tradition are ordained for the three-fold work of “Word, Sacrament, and Order.” In other words, we are to preach, teach, and interpret scripture, administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and have oversight of the life of the congregation. It is work modeled on a centuries old tradition of describing the work of Christ.
The early church, looking to leadership among the people of Israel in Hebrew scripture, referred to Christ’s work as that of “prophet, priest, and king.” He spoke for God. He brought grace and healing, drew us closer to God. He rules eternally. His church is called to do the same.
For the remainder of November, our sermon series will look at each of these offices and we will begin this week by speaking of Christ as Prophet. We will hear the promise to Moses that there will come a prophet “greater than he” (Deuteronomy 18:15-22) and we will hear Jesus himself remind us that he did not “come to abolish the law and the prophets but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17-20). Then, we will consider together what it might mean for us to join Jesus in this work, to be “word bearers” in the world today. During the service, we’ll also hear a word about our ministry partnership with ZOE, honor our veterans, and bless the Bibles that our third-graders have received, praying over the children that they may grow in the prophetic work of the church.
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow in worship. It will be “prophet-able.”
Grace and peace.