“Getting Your Head Cut Off”

August 29, Mark 6:17-29 Having Your Head Cut Off, Feast of John the Baptist

My friend Dana preached a sermon comparing me to John the Baptist. It made me uncomfortable, it was an awesome and beautiful sermon, but John the Baptist had his head cut off.

The truth of the matter is I have my head cut off a lot–people can be cruel, they can be merciless, and for me the call of the Jesus is to love them anyway; This PTSD I am working through from the years of death, and violence is having my head cut off.

Being a priest for me is not about the title, or about any of the prestige that is supposed to come along with it, it is about getting your hands dirty, about being like the velveteen rabbit, wearing yourself out to you have nothing left. Being a priest is about being a “keeper of the mysteries,” passing on the tradition of the Eucharist and the Gospel. It is about getting your head cut off.

I am always been asked about examples of success in the work, and the only success I can think of is that I get up each day and go back and do it again. That for me is success–keeping on keeping on, being the presence, and getting my head cut off.

Dr. Will Tuttle wrote: “Our welfare is ultimately dependent on the welfare of others. By freeing and encouraging others we are liberated and encouraged. We can never sever our connection to all beings, but we can ignore and violate it, planting seeds of tragedy and suffering.”

For me that is what ministry is about, and it means getting your head cut off–but there is resurrection! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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