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Thursday, October 01, 2015

God's Call and Our Response

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The reading for Oct. 4, 2015:

Joshua 1:  1-17

As I read the passage for Sunday, I am struck by the clarity of the call and the lack of doubt in Joshua's response.  We may remember that not every person in the Bible responds the way that Joshua does.

Throughout the Bible, we see God at work in the world. We see God using all sorts of humans, the kind of humans that a wise CEO wouldn't promote. But God sees their potential, and God calls them.

Sometimes, people protest and remind God of their unworthiness; think of Moses. Sometimes God has to do a lot to get their attention; think of Jonah.

But sometimes, the call comes, and the person responds, dropping everything to follow God's call. In Joshua, we see this example.

Maybe this story of Joshua makes you feel unworthy.  You haven't heard a clear call, and you wonder why.  Or maybe you have heard God's call, but you don't have the kind of community that supports you like Joshua's does.

Maybe you're feeling a bit adrift as you wonder what comes next.  God is always offering interesting invitations. Take a moment each day to listen for God's call.  What visions does God have for you that are better than any you could dream for yourself?

I have friends who are much more scientific and rational, friends who would roll their eyes at any of these thoughts.  And they raise good points:  how can we be sure we're hearing God's call and not our own desires?

Or are our deep-seated desires the same desires that God would have for us? 

Here is my favorite thought about God's call and modern life.  Theologian Frederick Buechner reminds us in his book Wishful Thinking: "The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

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