This Sunday, June 3, is the day in the Salvation Army Southern Territory to commission it’s newest ministers. These people, single, couples, young, older, of varied backgrounds and races have completed two years in the School for Officer’s Training in Atlanta. The culmination of this we call commissioning and it’s where they will receive their ordination in The Salvation Army. It is a sacred occasion not only for them, but their families and others who have made the same covenant with God.
I can imagine their excitement mixed with anxiety. Excitement to get “out there” and live their calling and the anxiety of getting out their and living their calling. I hope their is much fear mixed with the excitement. The healthy fear that keeps us coming before God and continually looking for his guidance. The fear that reminds us we can only go forward in His strength.
They will kneel and sign this covenant before hundreds of witnesses. The document says, directly under the heading: “Called by God”. His purpose has been shown to them and they have they are answering.
The last line says, “done in the strength of my Lord and Savior…” Yes, it is the only way any of us can fulfill God’s call on our life.
I have sat restless and uninterested in more than one of these events. Our presence was one of requirement and not desire. The pomp and “stuff” doesn’t interest me. But when it comes to this time, when I see them kneel to sign this sacred agreement between them and God, He reminds me of his purpose. He reminds me it is more than an agreement between us and The Salvation Army but it is always first our pledge to God. Always to Him who has called us in this direction.
There is a time for celebration too and the best time is hearing families cheer for their sons and daughters. I love that about God that he’s also a god that likes a party. A big, full out, loud, hand-clapping, shouting-out kind of party. The God of creation celebrates his own.