The FedEx theory

When we talk about something like “priesthood,” there is always the danger of inflated egos.  We all enjoy being special, and we too easily identify our personalities with the spiritual reality which we are (hopefully) mediating. 

In classes for would-be priests, my friend Josephine puts forward her “FedEx theory of the priesthood,” which I have found very helpful in countering tendencies toward inflation.   The FedEx man (or woman) generally has no idea what is in a package, or why it is being sent.  He simply takes it from Point A to Point B, delivering it according to instructions.  

Priests are very similar: we are deliverypeople.   We deliver the package (the sacraments, teaching, moments of grace, etc) according to the Spirit’s guidance, and it is not up to us to know why, or what is in it for the person receiving.   We don’t glorify the FedEx man, but we are glad that he is there to deliver our book or CD or box of cookies.  Likewise, there is no reason to glorify someone (or ourselves!) for being a priest, although we may be very grateful that she is present to bring us communion, or to deliver the needed word of grace.

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5 Responses to “The FedEx theory”

  1. Phantom Director Says:

    Amen brother! From one delivery person to another–you have several connects to Unitarian Universalists on your Blogroll; I was curious as to your connections there. Or did you get caught up with PeaceBang and her other blog when I connected PB to Jordan Stratford on her “dress rite” blog some time back? Thanks.

    Cheerfully, RK

  2. John Says:

    Hey RK – I have friendly connections to the UU world dating back to my Div School days. But the chain of connections here begins with Chris Tessone (Even the Devils Believe). I found Boy in the Bands (Scott Wells) via Chris’ blog, and PeaceBang via Scott. I found Father Jordan’s most interesting blog when PB referenced it. And so the web of connections grows! Best, JP

  3. Phantom Director Says:

    JP: I gave your Blog a “shout out” on the AJC listserve–hope it directs traffic to you in the future.

    Cheerfully, RK

  4. Alexis Says:

    Now that is a really neat metaphor!

    One thing I think I would add – in connection with deflating egos – is the importance of community. A community – whose members are individually, and thus as a whole body, are empowered by the gifts of the spirit, are I believe better able to discern – to “pick out” those who clearly express the “charism” of ordained service. It is I think a . . .”spiritual quality control sticker”.

  5. Carol Naomi Says:

    Heya John! Good stuff, as usual. The center of any organism, and a community is an organism, is God (or Diety or SELF or…). If the center point exists & is strong & REMAINS the center point, then community, or the body, must follow.

    Much love!
    CRN

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