Monday, September 25, 2017

Hanson: the earliest ministry

Monday, September 25, 2017
    Feast of Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, Spiritual Writer, 1626
    Commemoration of Sergius of Radonezh, Russian Monastic Reformer, Teacher, 1392
    If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. No one, then, should refuse to accept him. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.
    —1 Corinthians 16:10-11 (NIV)
    It may seem an anachronism to speak of “the relation of the ordained ministry towards the Church” ... when we are only thinking about Paul and his converts. Was there really an ordained ministry as early as that? We need not argue about whether, or how, Paul was ordained, but he certainly considered that he and his fellow workers had a special pastoral relation to their converts... Paul was primarily a missionary, which in itself establishes a link with the Servant of the Lord. As a missionary, he was not working on his own, but was supported by a group of assistants without whose help he could never have carried on his work. We know the names of many of them... But there were many more whose names we do not know, sometimes referred to as “the brethren” (e.g., 1 Cor. 16:11). This missionary group with Paul as its leader is the New Testament equivalent of the ordained ministry of today, and it is significant for us that Paul describes this group as carrying out in some sense the work of servants in the Church.
    ... Anthony T. Hanson (1916-1991), The Church of the Servant, London: SCM Press, 1962, p. 45-46 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 16:10-11; Acts 15:36; 16:4-5; 2 Cor. 8:23; 3 John 1:5-6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You alone ordain ministry.
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