(¶126, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2012)
It says that all of us who claim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior are specifically called as ministers in servanthood to the world, and to do so for the glory of God and its implications to human life. It says that each and every one of us Christians are called by Christ to be ministers in this crazy, upside-down, broken, sin-sick, but awesomely beautiful and desperately hopeful world. This tells me that there is no ambiguity as to “who” is called. It means you, me, ALL Christians.
But perhaps that should not be so surprising, for the truth is that those details are as varied and diverse as all of us are varied and diverse. The overarching “call” from God is readily captured, but our particular role or position is unique to the gifts, talents, skills and experiences that we have been afforded by God, either as an individual or as a community of Christians. This necessarily means that our fuller understanding of God’s call as participating ministers in God’s mission is attained through listening, learning, discerning, trusting, and ultimately responding to God’s voice, in all the ways God speaks to us. This is admittedly not an easy endeavor, but it is mandatory as Christians, and an endeavor that is guaranteed to produce positive results.
As we wind down one programming year and prepare to begin another, let us renew our personal commitment to living out God’s call as followers of Christ. Let us each take that intentional step to listen, discern, and trust in the purposeful wisdom that God seeks to impart upon God’s beloved people. For while I do not know the specific details that we will discover along the way, I absolutely do know that God calls us to step into our respective roles in this ministry of servanthood in the world, and that doing so to the glory of God we may come to know fulfillment beyond imagination. And so, I look forward to journeying together as we discover and respond to that call.
May you continually know of God’s presence, leading, and blessing in your life … Pastor Bob