Last night, the Rev. Dee Shaffer was ordained a priest in a service at St. Mark's, Brunswick. The preacher was her mentor, the Rev. Ted Clarkson of St. Andrews and St. Cyprians Episcopal Churches in Darien. As he closed the sermon, he told of the prayer below, known as Martin Luther's sacristy prayer. Ted told of how he was introduced to it in seminary and now endeavors to pray it daily as a reminder, that his ministry of priesthood rests not on his abilities, but on Christ working through him, which is a good reminder for all Christians, whether ordained or not:
Lord God, You have appointed me as a pastor in Your Church, but you see how unsuited I am to meet so great and difficult a task. If I had lacked Your help, I would have ruined everything long ago. Therefore, I call upon You: I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to you; I shall teach the people. I myself will learn and ponder diligently upon You Word. Use me as Your instrument—but do not forsake me, for if ever I should be on my own, I would easily wreck it all.