Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Joys (and Challenges) of a Divine Call

I am two months into my third Call in an LCMS school, and I have been recently thinking about the Call in ministry. A good colleague and former supervisor once told me that we never leave a Call. We go to a new one. My most recent "Call" was not official but to my family, myself, and my education in Michigan. Now, I have been serving two months in my new ministry. However, sometimes I think that we, as forgiven sinners in Christ, need a review of the meaning of a divine Call.

As humans, I think the idea of a divine Call can also be difficult. I know that I have made many friends, developed professional relationships, and taught many kids that are dear to me. It can be hard to leave them, but I have also learned that it is important to do so. Part of the Call process means that we transition to a new place. I still keep in touch with with many of the people who I have developed relationships with over the years, but there comes a time when we have a new focus - the kids and the families that we currently serve.

"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.  Therefore it says, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men."  Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." Ephesians 4:1-16

I think the aforementioned verses are a great reminder to us all. Whether you are new to ministry this year, starting in a new place, or have many years of experience, are you walking in a manner worthy of your calling? How are you using your gifts for equipping the saints? Are we careful to avoid trickery and scheming? Are we working toward the growth of His church through the grace that God has given us?

May the God of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, work richly in your schools this week!