Because once you start to let others make you feel important you will fall into one of two equal traps: you will enjoy feeling important because of others' projections onto you as a church leader; then you will feel lost when you do catch a glimpse of your actual unimportance as an Anglican Minister in the big secular world out there (where recently only 19% of people in the street could name the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury).
Because it's a funny mixture of things in the 'National Church'. People outside the church are interested looking in, up to a point. They see through what can look like the self importance of the church's pomp and ceremony, but at the same time they might be attracted to it because at its best the pomp and ceremony, which we do quite well, reflects the otherness, beauty and holiness of God.
|Pomp and ceremony of the |
enthronement of the new
Archbishop last week
Various factions looked to Jesus to be a certain leader: political; miracle-working; conquering Jewish King. None of these was on Jesus' agenda. His sense of importance was found in God alone. It's really no more welcome to be feted than to be criticised, as I've been reminded when tempted to feel a sense of clerical importance, for example when tourists in Oxford appear to enjoy taking photos of large groups of clergy as they process out of an Oxford College in their robes during Holy Week.
|Just another 'famous for a few weeks' singer that|
everyone loved. Then forgot.
There's nothing wrong with feeling proud to belong; having dreaded the onset of vestments in my life, I now feel proud to wear them, even sporting the collar on the tube; but any sense of importance emanates only through the grace of knowing I'm loved and called by God, like anyone else.