Friday, January 19 2024
The Call to Follow Jesus
We are in the season of Epiphany – a season that continues well beyond the Feast Day itself, when we experienced the joy and wonder of the magi who travelled so far from the east. Following a light – a star that aroused their curiosity, that aroused them out of complacency. But God was clearly calling them to move!
Have you ever experienced an epiphany – a moment of recognition – a moment of light and awareness?
Perhaps your epiphany occurred when you recognized a call and you deeply believed and discerned that it was from God. Some may wonder, is that you, God? Nevertheless calls from God can be life changing, like seeking ordained ministry, changing your career, realizing that you need to use your gifts on the Vestry. Calls can lead us into new directions and enable us to meet new people and use new skills, – like volunteering for Hospice, for a local hospital, or for our Thrift shop. You never know who you will meet and how that will change your life. No call from God is too small. A whisper in your ear (that still small voice) tells you that you need to make a meal for your sick neighbor, or to stop to help someone who fell on the sidewalk. But you heard a call and you discerned it to be from God.
Our lectionary this week focuses on “the call.” “Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ…” We know that Mark is a Gospel of action and urgency. Jesus approaches Peter, Andrew, James and John and simply says “follow me.” And, “immediately” they drop what they were doing to follow. Their willingness to respond to the call changed our world.
Recognizing God’s call is not always easy or obvious. That is why we spend time reading the scriptures in Bible Study, or come together for Morning prayer – which exposes us to the daily lectionary. In both instances we are in community, learning to hear God’s call. The interesting thing about God’s call is that God is persistent, as we will see in Jonah this week. He returns to Jonah again and again until Jonah responds. The beauty of responding to God’s call is that God is always there to guide and support you in every step of the journey.
Where is God calling you?
See you in church!