Today’s Scriptures: From the Book of Common Prayer
Psalm 93, 96, 34
What happens when we have a call from God?
Very often the catch-phrase for why we do or do not do something in the realm of church is that it “was my calling” or “it was not my calling.” I have used it before – sometimes because it was a task I just did not want to do and other times quiet genuinely because I believed my calling was in a different ministry. Today’s passages all deal with callings.
The Psalms passages are all Psalms of praise, honoring God for his place and his works or his personal interactions with the people of Israel. A connection can be made, particularly with the interactions with the people of Israel to the Numbers passage. Aaron and his sons had already been called to be priests, but the Lord gave specific blessings to the Israelites as his people. The entire population was called to him. History has shown the many blessings that came from honoring that relationship and despairs for ignoring it.
Acts gives us an account of two people, Barnabas and Saul being called out for a special ministry as defined by the Lord. The rest of the passage shows what happens when people actually follow the calling. They were able to counter the wicked and witness to people with the full power of God.
Jesus’s parables provide some of the deepest teaching of Christ, but also some of the most challenging as he did not say, “Hey you, Mr. Pharisee, this is about you!” or “Hey Christian, this is about you!” We have to know the relationships between the people in the story. This passage in Luke is for all Jews and Christians. As the people of God – Old Testament and New Testament - we are all given assignments from God. Jesus leaves no doubt about the consequences of ignoring the direction.
Today’s passages are only three of many passages that record what happens when God calls individuals to do his work in this world. From the patriarchs to the prophets to the apostles the Bible is filled with ordinary humans doing extraordinary works simply by following God’s direction. Jesus’s parable demands that we consider ourselves as Christians called of God and given responsibility for the world in which we live. From the passages today, we learn that God equips those he calls with all that is needed to accomplish the mission (Acts), those who follow the mission are blessed (Numbers), and those who fail to follow the mission are punished (Luke). Just as recent passages have challenged our reliance on the Holy Spirit, now we are challenged to accept the mission God has for each of us in his kingdom here on Earth. Consistently God reminds us that he made us active participants in the world with him. He leaves no space for passive involvement.
Let us not only accept the assignment God has prepared for us, but to enthusiastically embrace it, knowing he will provide for every need.