Thursday, March 20, 2014

Who is Called?

Photo Credit:  S. Grant Matthews
Location:  Methodist Theological School in Ohio
The following devotional was my submission to the Annual Conference Lenten Devotional.

Scripture: Mark 2:13-17
Mark 2:13-14:  Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
Can you imagine it?  Jesus is walking near Levi, the tax collector and calls him into discipleship.  In Jesus’ time, tax collectors were seen as corrupt symbols of Roman occupation.  As we walk with Jesus in our imagination, we can hear the whispers of not only the Pharisees and scribes, but also of Jesus’ disciples.  Why would Jesus call this man into service?  Why would he call a tax collector?  Perhaps one of those in Jesus’ inner circle said, “I don’t want to follow Jesus if it means I have to work with that man – that tax collector.”

Who does God call into discipleship?  Surely God invites you and me, but who else?  Does God call the person who has lied to us?  Does God invite the one who votes for the “wrong” candidate?  Does God invite the homeless person, the teenager we will never understand, and the neighbor who loves jazz music and plays it all night long?  God certainly calls the alto who sings with us in the choir, but does God want the person who has never been to church to become a disciple?  Does God even call the one who has ridiculed us and our habit of speaking about Christ?

Who does God call into discipleship?  I believe we can safely answer that God calls everyone.  If that is the case, how will they be called?  Who will invite them?  Who is the next person we will invite to follow Christ?  It can’t just be the person who is exactly like us; it has to also be the person we would never invite on our own.  God chooses; not us.

Go out today and find the person who God loves so much that God would call him or her into discipleship.  Go out today and offer God’s invitation.

Prayer:  Creator God, help me to fish for people, and help me to cast your net in the direction of your choice, not mine.  Amen.

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