“So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit,’ and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest sand the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in. Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid hiss hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses.” (Numbers 27:18-23)
Moses obeyed God’s command and ordained Joshua to be his successor, by laying hands on him, Moses conferred his honor and authority on Joshua who was filled already with the Spirit. Jewish and Christian practices of ordination have been influenced by this account.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, in this reading from Numbers, we have come to understand that leaders in the church are given their authority, to be used wisely and with compassion. We also understand that our leaders are to be an example of the lie of Christ during His time on this earth and never to be used for power or strength over the body of Christ. They are first and foremost servants in the church and in their teaching and preaching. They are also to reflect Christ’s actions in the world that they live in and so to are we, to be an example of Christ’s love in our every day lives. Today we continue to pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“For every negative thing found in this world, there are 1,000 good things found in God’s love.”
“They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.” (Acts 6:5-6)
Ordination does not elevate anyone to a superior position in the church, nor does it convey any special rights. The ordained acknowledge in public that they willingly accept the responsibilities for whatever ministry they are called to do. Ordination should take place only after evidence of the Spirit’s call and with the concurrence of the congregation.
“Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.” (1st Timothy 4:14)
The laying on of hands does not confer a divine gift. In this instance, the laying on of hands accompanied the gift which only God can bestow. Nothing can compensate for the lack of a divine gift for ministry. By laying on their hands, the church leaders recognized and affirmed the presence of spiritual gifts in Timothy. Paul either participated in this ceremony as one of the elders, or Timothy had hands laid on him twice (2nd Timothy 1:6). The question remains open whether Timothy entered an official leadership position in the church through ordination or whether he had his gifts affirmed and was commissioned for a specific mission.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.” (1st Timothy 5-22)
The church bear responsibility for those it ordains; therefore, it should do this with great care. Only those of proven character and who clearly possess spiritual gifts for their ministry should be ordained. The church should give the person time to give evidence of spiritual gifts before ordination takes place.