About Face

Then, facing the table, the Celebrant proceeds

Rubrics – the little italicized lines that let everyone know what to do during the worship service. There aren’t many of them, but this is an important one. The woman or man leading the service has been facing the congregation – one part of the give and take, exhortation and response. Now she or he turns around, facing the same direction as everyone else. The point of this isn’t to show the back side of whatever robe is being worn. Something else entirely is going on, and it’s something we overlook or forget to our own diminishment.

The men and women who choose ordination, who choose to pray for and with any and all who enter the church (and travel to pray with and for those who don’t), hold a unique position among their congregants. Their vocations and education may set them apart to serve others in the name of Jesus, and they bear the responsibility of leadership. But when it comes to directing their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls to the Lord who made them, they are the same as everyone else. No higher, no lower, not facing another direction. This about face is a weekly reminder to clergy and congregation alike that everyone stands before God on equal footing.

Everyone comes before God a beloved child – no exceptions and no exclusions.

Published by

Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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