Monday, December 13, 2004

Dendinger Installed as Bishop

Dendinger ordained as bishop of Grand Island Diocese

To do right, love goodness, and walk humbly with God. This is the charge given to William Dendinger.

I'd never seen a bishop be ordained, and installed. My mom's uncle was a bishop, and I always looked up to him. In the formative years of my youth, he was a definite influence. And while I was there when he celebrated his 50th anniversary as an ordained priest, I never got to see him ordained as a bishop, and didn't have a chance to go to his funeral.

Growing up in the evangelical tradition, but with that Catholic background has given me an appreciation for times like this. I really do appreciate that my faith isn't some modern invention. I like the history, and rich tradition. I love my church, but the glitzy worship team with its power point lyrics and light shows is cool, but it's modern. It's a product of now. But seeing a bishop anointed with oil, that's not modern. It's downright ancient, and I like seeing the connection. I think that's where the big, modern, evangelical church sometimes fails. We don't do a very good job of showing our God is bigger than the here and now. We're so eager to be hip, and cool, and show God can exist in our high tech world that we forget to mention he's always existed.

Anyway, sorry to pontificate on that, but I did enjoy being at a two hour mass, to see a new Catholic bishop. The symbolism ran deep. There was the bible presented to him, to show his appreciation for the word. The oil on his head. The other bishops laying on hands. The ring placed on his finger shows his fidelity, his faithfulness to the bride of Christ, the church. The miter (that goofy hat) relfects God's glorious crown. The crosier is a pastor's staff, to show he shepherds the people. It was cool. Why can't protestant evangelicals do this kind of stuff? I'm not saying abandon all our modern advances, but it's fun to reconnect with this stuff too.

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