Micah 6:8– “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Luke 15:1-2– “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.'”
I have a confession: I suffer from what I call Chronic Cliché Eye-Roll. It’s a disease that, upon hearing a cliché, I can’t help but roll my eyes, no matter where I am or in what context the cliché is being said. It’s just going to happen. So, today’s word is call and I simply can’t let myself blog about how God is calling us. We all know that God is calling us, Jesus began his ministry by calling the first disciples, and he ended his ministry by promising an Advocate (the Holy Spirit) that would help and guide us to where God was calling us. Many churches begin their worship service with a Call to Worship and end them with the Sending Forth, which serve as a reminder that we are a called people. Jesus’ calling did not stop with ascending into Heaven and it won’t stop until he comes back again.
What I want to speak about isn’t so much the call, as it is what we hear. When you hear God calling you, when you commit your life to Christ, your life should fundamentally change. We are not a called people because God looked upon us and said, “Yeah, they are doing just fine,” we are called people because God looked upon us and said, “You just haven’t got it yet. Here, let me come down and show you.” Christ lead by example, and it is our call to live out a life according to how Christ wants us to live.
Too often it seems, Christians find themselves marrying their faith to institutions. We saw that this week in Indiana, and now in Arkansas: Christians seeking to protect their rights by legislating themselves the right to deny service to anyone they see as violating their religious beliefs. Without placing judgement and without calling names, I just can’t help but wonder if that was a call of Christ. I will freely admit that many times I have heard God’s call, only to see that it was me behind the curtain all along pulling the strings, trying my best to mimic the voice of God. I know, love, and respect people on both sides of this issue and I don’t wish for this article to be about what’s happening in Indiana, I only seek to use it as an example.
You see, the call of Christ is something that rocks your world. It causes you to see you for what you are: a sinner, but it also shows you what you are to God: deeply loved. If Christ can see the good in you, might not Christ see the good in others? Living the life Christ lived is hard, if not impossible, for we are all fully human and not fully divine. However, we must try. While we may be able to love one another to the moon and back, we must strive to love one another as God loves us: to the cross and back.
So as we enter in to the middle of Holy Week, let us strive to listen to the voice of God, we are all called, but that doesn’t always mean we listen.
God, make us more attentive to you and your Spirit, so that as we draw nearer to you this week, we might better hear your voice above all the noise of this world. Amen.