A Call…an invitation…a summons…an overture that demands a response. If the scriptures are clear about one thing, it is that God does not sit idly somewhere on the far side of eternity, distant and detached from creation. The witness of our scriptures is that God gets involved in the world. Suddenly, surprisingly, often startlingly, God intervenes in history and works to bring about his purpose and will. Most often, the intervention of God in creation involves human agents, who work and witness on God’s behalf.
Another thing about which scriptures seem clear is that to be called by God will rattle you a bit. Those whom God calls are portrayed in the scriptures as reluctant, dismayed, even on occasion initially disobedient. It is no easy thing to be called by God, even when—as is the case with the first people Jesus encountered in his public ministry—we are asked to simply put down our current projects and follow. The call to follow Jesus is a call away from fame and fortune…it is a call to servanthood, sacrifice, sweat…a call to become like Christ Jesus himself.
Difficult or not, follow we must if we are to know the peace of God. And so this Sunday, a call is being issued to serve God for the coming year by serving God’s congregation at First UMC of Orange, as an Associate In Ministry. Many who worship this day are called, or will be, to other mission fields and other endeavors. But for a handful, today is a powerful day of invitation, of summons…of call.