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We have been inundated with commercials telling us why a certain candidate deserves our vote over another. Have you noticed how most of them don’t tell the good the one who wants your vote has done, but often tells the bad of the opponent? Just once, I’d like to see a political campaign where negative adds were banned, where the only platform a candidate could run on was one which spoke of their own record and their own character. Perhaps those adds would be much shorter and the money coming in from political action committees would be better spent elsewhere.

This weekend, Columbus, OH will be inundated with candidates of another sort altogether. They come from all across the country. They are here for the sole purpose of speaking of themselves and the mighty work that God has done in them. It has brought them to this point in their life, after all. They’re here to speak of their own record and character as human beings who are testing the waters of a call to ordained ministry. Some come, backed by a congregation full of financial support and encouragement, while others come alone and financially strapped. They are young and older and everything in between. They all have the same desire. To discover the Lord’s purpose and plan for them at this point in their lives.

For many, it will indeed be ordained ministry. For some, it will not. As a member of the Candidacy Committee of the North American Lutheran Church, I, along with a dozen other colleagues prayerfully enter into a time of discernment this weekend as we meet, pray with, and interview 13 candidates. It is a humbling task , and for this reason, I ask for your prayer. Pray that most of all, God’s Holy Spirit is ever present in our discernment. Pray that the decisions are clear and sure. And pray that above all, “the peace of God which passes all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7


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