Spiritual gifts and orders in the Church

Another characteristic of the eschatological community which the Eucharist as the body of the Risen and corporate, spiritual Christ must portray, is its charismatic nature. All the members of the Church possess the Holy Spirit through Baptism and Chrismation (or Confirmation), and being a charismatic means in the final analysis being a member of the Church. Ordination is a bestowal of a particular charisma on certain people and as such it does not raise the ordained person above or outside the community, but assigns him to a particular position, an ordo. The Eucharist includes not only the laymen but also other charismata and orders. Its proper performance therefore must include a variety of orders and not simply what we call the laymen or the clergy.

John Zizioulas The ecclesiological presuppositions of the holy Eucharist

being obvious

I want to use this blog to say some things that should be obvious. Why? Because they don’t appear to be known by the very people to whom they should be best obvious. Every Sunday morning I listen to a clergy person who either has learned these really obvious things, or has decided that they have found something more important to say, something from some other source. What should be most obvious is  that we have to hear from him or her what the Scripture readings that we have just heard, say. The job of the minister, teacher, clergy, whoever, is to say again what the Scripture readings say, to open the Scripture to us. It is not sufficient to refer to a line or two of one of the New Testament readings in passing. Opening the Scripture means talking us through all three readings please. Their job description, to which they gave their promise at their ordination, is to serve the Word of God, and to serve us by serving that whole Word up to us. They simply have to repeat what we have heard, using other words so that we hear it again, and clearer, in all its strangeness and directness. So, this blog is just a response to the sermon I heard and the service I took part in part in on Sunday. For this reason it is full of things that are really obvious to most of you. It is my questions about what was and wasn’t said in that sermon, and my questions about what we heard and said and sung in that service and it is my ‘thank you’ and my ‘Amen’.