by Rev. Samuel Son
Just this morning when I went for my annual blood test, the phlebotomist asked, “are you a priest?” I was wearing my collar.
She was a catholic and could not understand how anyone can stomach the contemporary worship void of tradition. I confessed to her that at times I want to be a Catholic priest because the evangelical church sells his soul in trying to be popular. What a fascinating morning discussion. If it wasn’t for the collar we might have been lamenting about the dreary rain. When I said good bye, I blessed her. A smile lighted her face.
Such is the power of the collar. A cop pulled me over once and sent me off with a warning (love this). A stranger stopped me to share his passion for all things Hurricanes (our hockey team) and then for prayer for her daughter who wasn’t recovering from her surgery. I preached over a casket holding a 25 year old young man who coughed the night before and did not wake up. He was a former youth student. I baptized a four hours old infant then gave him back to his dad, who held him until he moved on to the Father’s arms. I have united two strangers into a union thicker than blood. After all these are the words I say in a wedding, “By the power invested in me…”
The collar is power. I can wear the collar because I have been ordained.
Every Christian has a collar for every Christian was ordained in their baptism. Their collar is the power of the Holy Spirit. And receiving the Holy Spirit is simply putting it on, as much as I put on the collar in the mornings. The power is external power, for sure, but it is a gift and so ours to use or neglect.
I used to think the Holy Spirit was given to few, only to those who are desperate enough to grovel. But Christ has already obtained that gift for us and has distributed it. It is just sitting on our closet.
Sometimes I hesitate wearing the collar because it forces me to behave. I know I am representing when I have the collar on. But the times when someone cuts me off and I am about to give the finger and the collar gives a little tug so I give the crazy driver the cross and a smile, I am grateful. It is making me a better person. Self-control is rubbish. It is Spirit-control.
So you might not have the physical collar, but perhaps yours can be a cross since a physical reminder is useful. But more importantly, prayer is how we put on the collar of the Spirit. Throughout the day, pick up your collar. Pray, then prepare for some out of ordinary questions and requests.