Tag Archives: call

How? #adventbookclub – Day 18

Luke 1:5-20 (CEV)

An Angel Tells about the Birth of John

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest by the name of Zechariah from the priestly group of Abijah. His wife Elizabeth was from the family of Aaron. Both of them were good people and pleased the Lord God by obeying all that he had commanded. But they did not have children. Elizabeth could not have any, and both Zechariah and Elizabeth were already old.

One day Zechariah’s group of priests were on duty, and he was serving God as a priest. According to the custom of the priests, he had been chosen to go into the Lord’s temple that day and to burn incense, 10 while the people stood outside praying.

11 All at once an angel from the Lord appeared to Zechariah at the right side of the altar. 12 Zechariah was confused and afraid when he saw the angel. 13 But the angel told him:

Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayers. Your wife Elizabeth will have a son, and you must name him John. 14 His birth will make you very happy, and many people will be glad. 15 Your son will be a great servant of the Lord. He must never drink wine or beer, and the power of the Holy Spirit will be with him from the time he is born.

16 John will lead many people in Israel to turn back to the Lord their God. 17 He will go ahead of the Lord with the same power and spirit that Elijah had. And because of John, parents will be more thoughtful of their children. And people who now disobey God will begin to think as they ought to. That is how John will get people ready for the Lord.

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know this is going to happen? My wife and I are both very old.”

19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel, God’s servant, and I was sent to tell you this good news. 20 You have not believed what I have said. So you will not be able to say a thing until all this happens. But everything will take place when it is supposed to.”

Have you ever wanted anything so much, longed for it, yearned for it – and yet it has never happened?

Can you imagine if one day God came and told you that it would happen.  I love this bottom picture, where the angel is tapping Zechariah on the shoulder 🙂

Not surprisingly, when he is told, Zechariah is incredulous – he can’t believe it.  He wants to know how it can happen – a perfectly reasonable question.  He knows it is humanly impossible.  Zechariah wanted some proof, some tangible evidence – I guess he got it in losing his voice!  Perhaps to hear, he needed to be silent?

Has God ever tapped you on the shoulder and told you something?

What was your reaction?

How?  I know I have!  Seriously Lord, you’re going to do what?  With me?  How on earth…?

Yet God does.  He takes his people, ordinary human beings, and he makes things happen in and through us.

How Lord?
You say this is what is going to happen
and yet I can’t see how.
Surely it’s not possible,
there are too many problems,
did I hear you right?

Lord,
help me to listen
to truly hear
to believe
and respond.

Lord,
do what you need to do
in my life

Speak Lord

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

I’ll Go #adventbookclub – Day 17

Isaiah 6:1-8 (CEV)

A Vision of the Lord in the Temple

In the year that King Uzziah died, I had a vision of the Lord. He was on his throne high above, and his robe filled the temple. Flaming creatures with six wings each were flying over him. They covered their faces with two of their wings and their bodies with two more. They used the other two wings for flying, as they shouted,

“Holy, holy, holy,
    Lord All-Powerful!
The earth is filled
    with your glory.”

As they shouted, the doorposts of the temple shook, and the temple was filled with smoke. Then I cried out, “I’m doomed! Everything I say is sinful, and so are the words of everyone around me. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord All-Powerful.”

One of the flaming creatures flew over to me with a burning coal that it had taken from the altar with a pair of metal tongs. It touched my lips with the hot coal and said, “This has touched your lips. Your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer guilty.”

After this, I heard the Lord ask, “Is there anyone I can send? Will someone go for us?”

“I’ll go,” I answered. “Send me!”

By Jojojoe (Own work)

Something needs doing.  Someone’s got to do it.

I’ll go

Willingly or grudgingly someone steps up, takes it on, makes sure it is done.

God calls. Will someone go and do this?

I’ll go

I hadn’t realised I could.  I thought it was beyond me, that I wasn’t good enough.

But God had other ideas.  He met me, showed me, forgives me, calls me.

I’ll go

Lord,
I am small,
unholy,
unclean.

I get things wrong
and fail to get things right.

I stand in awe and wonder
of all you are,
and all I can never be.

And yet,
I hear your voice calling,
you need someone,
someone to go
and be
and do
for you.

I am not worthy.

Yet if you call me,
touch my life,
forgive me,
transform me

perhaps,

in your strength

I’ll go

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

Given Back

This follows on from yesterdays post.  Sorry if it’s a bit rambling!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow to find a way?

How to carve a ministry out of nothing?

How to learn a new way to be, that still has meaning, and purpose and call?

How to respond when people don’t even know, or have forgotten you are a minister?
how to continue to live out the ‘God who will not let me go’?

How to walk by faith, if not by sight?

There are many days when I feel alone, detached, and yes heart-broken.  So much I long to be doing, and yet, and yet…

The struggle to find a ministry.  The struggle to re-become the intrinsic Me.

This blog started as part of that struggle.  To still have sermons burning within me, the need to be able to ‘preach’, even if I had no physical voice.  The need to find a niche and yes a ministry.

It is hard to each week take part in something that you ‘should’ be leading.  Can you imagine having to give up (have taken away?) your job, and every week having to turn up and watch someone else make a really good job of it – whilst longing to be doing that yourself?  To turn up to worship God, to have your heart and soul torn apart week by week?  Obviously at some point you have to come to terms with this, and this blog has helped.  I do still find the ‘specials’ hard – Christmas and Easter; and watching someone else ‘do’ communion can be painful – how much depending on what place I am in.  How I long to do that, yet it is not to be.  That is not where I am now.

Some days it hurts.   I react badly from a place of pain and frustration.  I still long to be a part of ‘things’ – exciting things, places where God is working, ground-breaking stuff, working on making God relevant in today’s society.

That is not my current calling – yet I remain called and I remain a Minister.  Just because I have stopped doing the functions does not mean I am no longer ordained and called to ministry.

I have lost, but I have been given back.  I have been given a ministry I could not have had if I was still a circuit minister.  I have time.  Time to listen, time to hear, time to be with.

I meet people I would never have met if I had stayed where I was, or if I was still busy, busy, busy.  I have had opportunity to cultivate new relationships, many of them ‘on line’.  God can, and does I believe, still use me.

Ministry is different, but still is – I still am.

The Methodist Covenant Prayer is powerful wherever you are in life:

‘I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.’

To many of us, being ‘laid aside’ for God is a scary thought.  It is a scary place.  But I pray that in being laid aside, in having apparently nothing, God continues to work in and through me.

God can and does rescue me – from my panic, from my pain, from my hurt, from the things I can’t do.  He takes this broken and cracked old pot – and is making something new.

Now I just need to hold tight to that!

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Come Let us Sing of a Wonderful Love

(And for anyone who knows me, perhaps the biggest surprise of all this is that I’ve chosen two classic hymns!)