Tomorrow, my world changes. Tomorrow, everything I’ve come here to Cambridge for becomes a whole lot more real and focussed. As mentioned in this post, tomorrow is when those of us who are scheduled to leave Cambridge and the other British Methodist training establishments in the summer of this year find out where, in its wisdom, the Methodist Church wishes us to serve our first stations as Presbyters. Of course, I can’t comment how others feel, but I know how I feel – it is a mix of excitement and dread, it is a pure, unadulterated adrenaline rush, it is a roller-coaster that covers both complete calm and total panic. I can imagine it is a similar feeling for my friends here in Cambridge and elsewhere across the Connexion.
One of the consequences of this mix of emotions is that the liturgy I have written for tomorrow morning’s service in the College chapel, which is a service of Eucharist with prayers for the stationing process, and which I had hoped to help lead, has now been handed on to others. It is a strange feeling to have invested so much time and effort into a service only to then not play a part in leading it. It is not something that happens very often as a Local Preacher. Of course, I always knew that the key words in the Eucharist, those of the Prayer of Thanksgiving, would be spoken in public by someone else, because I’m not authorised to preside at the Eucharist yet. But I had thought that maybe I would be able to lead some of it. That will not be the case. Rather, I will simply go and worship, and leave all the leading to others – that is all I genuinely feel I will be able to do. As I write this I am listening to Giuseppe Verdi’s incredible Requiem, which I was given a recording of for Christmas. While I would in no way wish to compare my first ever Eucharist liturgy with the work of a genuine genius I think there may be a comparison in thinking of how, having written music, especially music written to the glory of God, a composer must then hand it over to a choir and orchestra in order that it can used for the purpose for which it was written. So it is with my liturgy. It is now written, and it will be in the hands of others to use it for the purpose it was produced for: to worship God and to remember all those involved in some way in the stationing process through prayer and the Eucharist, through which we are all united with Christ.
And for most of the day tomorrow it will be another prayer, written by someone else and offered up for the use of all people called Methodists, indeed, for the use of all Christians, that is on my mind. I don’t know if I will make it to a Covenant Service this year, but the words of the Covenant Prayer will be with me tomorrow as I, Mrs Nomad, Wee One and my fellow students here and elsewhere await news of where we are being sent next.
I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessèd God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
Travel well, wherever you are headed,