Rev. Bob Wickizer
Amos 3:1-8; Psalm 139:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Matthew 4:12-23
27 January 2002
"Follow me and I will make you fishers of people," a simple one-liner from Jesus changed the world forever. We have argued over the identity of Jesus for centuries. A veritable sea of ink has been spent writing about the meaning of his teachings, but this one line is crystal clear. Do as I do. Learn from me. Take up your cross and follow me.
Yet here in the comfort of our twenty-first century medicine and technology we continue to struggle with such basic questions as "How do I know if I am called?" "Am I called if I don't experience a sudden emotional, religious experience?" "Is it possible to be called as a church?"
I believe that every human being born on this planet is called to glorify God. We are called because scripture tells us that we are made in God's image and that God's creation is good. As Christians we glorify God by following the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. When Christ calls us, some experience a rapid, dramatic, intensely religious encounter while most of us may not be blessed or cursed with such a powerful and unequivocal message from God. Examples of this include the calling of the prophet Samuel and of course the calling of Jesus' disciples in the Gospel today. The typical call for clergy and lay alike is the still small voice or like the story of Ruth following Naomi after an adult life together. Most of us experience a gradual call more like the wind slowly shaping one of those gnarled trees you see in the mountains near the tree line. The slow, steady call is seldom dramatic and never easy to discern.
People often ask why did I want to become a priest. The easy answer is A) I didn't want to become a priest I just could not avoid it and B) because God called me. If you press the matter further and ask "How do you know that God called you?" My short answer is (to those who are marrie ...
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