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Many are called, few pick up

God will find a way to let us know that God is with us in this place, wherever we are, however far we think we’ve run. And maybe that’s one reason we worship — to respond to grace. We praise God not to celebrate our own faith but to give thanks for the faith God has in us. To let ourselves look at God, and let God look back at us. And to laugh, and sing, and be delighted because God has called us God’s own. – Kathleen Norris in Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

Being “called” by God is that moment when we fully recognize God’s presence in our lives. For most of us, that “calling” sort of sneaks up on us in the midst of our lives – while we’re busy doing other things. Jesus called his first disciples while they were fishing . . . going about their ordinary work. And our “call from God” is unceasing – God is always calling our name – we just aren’t always really listening for that still-speaking, still-calling voice of God.

The angels called the shepherds to come and see the holy child. To come and worship – no big preparation required, no special training needed, or anything else. Turns out the correct response to their call was just to show up and feel the joy. I think we all get this call on Christmas Eve!

We are ALL called whether that calling is to be a loyal friend, a responsible church member, or a terrific auntie. The difference between simply “doing the right thing” and what we are “called” to do is whether or not we sense the presence of God in our actions. I also believe that when we are living out our calling there will be gifts of comfort and love from the Spirit to soften our path. The God-given peace that comes in the midst of living out one’s call is sometimes miraculous to behold – especially when we are called to do difficult things that make us fearful or nervous.

When have you felt called by God? How did you respond? If you can, take a moment to remember and listen to see if God is calling you now and for what purpose? Then as you enter into the joy of Christmas, maybe take a moment during a carol, or while sitting in candlelight to listen to the still-speaking God.

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