Half the people at my internship site call me “The Victor.” My formal title is vicar, but that not being a familiar word they settled on the closest thing they could figure out. I must admit it makes me smile every time I hear it. Most days I do not feel very victorious in this new and unfamiliar place, a cheery “hey Victor” helps me remember that people here believe in me.
I preached and led worship for the first time on Wednesday night. Standing alone in the cavernous sanctuary as I was getting ready for the service, I did not feel very victorious. Shivering in the cold and dwarfed by the enormity of the space, I did not feel up to the task of faithfully leading God’s people in worship.But it was Holy Cross day on Wednesday. And on Holy Cross day we celebrate the triumph of the cross. With shouts and praise and glorious red paraments, we celebrate the incredible juxtaposition that is Christ’s victory in the cross, God’s strength in human weakness, eternal life from death. “Foolishness,” Paul called it, “but the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18).
What a day to begin my year as “victor.” A year where I will stand in this liminal space, not yet ordained but not quite lay. As I learn, and grow, and make tremendous mistakes, I pray that I remember the way of the One I follow. One whose power is in weakness.