A Gracious Gift
What is God’s purpose for me? We associate this question most often with the time of adolescence, youth, and early adulthood. But it is a question which should continue for all of us; one which must be asked throughout our lives.
Through John, God called the people of Israel to repentance and preparation for the Messiah. At his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus heard and responded to God’s calling to live as the beloved Son, the one who would proclaim the kingdom of God and give his life for the forgiveness of the world.
In our baptism, God has called us to a new way of live—the life of servant love. As stewards of that high calling, our first responsibility is to ask, “What would you have me do, God?” At first, that question may threaten us. Living up to God’s calling is never an easy thing. But God’s call to faith and obedience is also a gracious gift, one which gives purpose and direction to our lives as nothing else can.
—Dr. Jay Earheart-Brown
- What elements of God’s call in Jesus Christ are given in common to all Christians?
- How have you discerned God’s specific calling to you, in terms of your vocation? In your work in and for the church? In some other aspect of your discipleship?
- Can you think of a time you failed to respond to God’s call in a specific situation? A time when you responded to God’s call?
- In what ways have others helped you to hear God’s call?
How Do I Act?
- Most of us are familiar with persons who have renewed their wedding vows. The Book of Common Worship (available from CP Resources) has a service for the renewal of baptism for individuals or a congregation. Talk to your pastor about the possibility of using such a service in your church so that the congregation may renew their commitment to follow the call of Jesus Christ.
- Seek out high school or college students in your church or community and talk to them about careers they may be considering. Help them to reflect on what role their faith may have in making such an important decision, and how they may view that choice as a part of God’s call.
- If you are faced with a problem in which you are seeking God’s call, develop a plan to help you listen. You may include Bible study, prayer and meditation, and discussion with a trusted Christian friend.