Monday, January 23, 2017

I Have Heard You Calling in the Night, Part 5

Heard You Calling, continued...

In the third part of the passage we read in Matthew, we see that after Herod died, Joseph has another dream. This time he is told to return to Israel. Great news! So they are able to return home. But when they arrive, they find that a ruler even more horrible that Herod, Herod’s son. Archelaus began his rule with the slaughter of the 3000 most influential people in the country. Joseph hears who is ruling this part of Israel, and is afraid. Who wouldn’t be? In a dream, an angel directs him to go to the region of Galilee, where a different son of Herod’s reigned.

So Jesus grows up in Nazareth, where he is safe. This was a town at the crossroads of two major roads, so Jesus lives in a place where he is exposed to people from all over the nearby world, and I imagine this could only serve as a good thing for what the future holds for him.

We are afraid – we are called to do what we do not know how to do in places we have never been. What we can learn from Joseph is that God is trustworthy. We may be afraid, but our God can be trusted, and we can go where God leads and do what God calls us to do.

We live in a world where we see terrible things happening. We live in a world where is it wise to be afraid. We live in a world that desperately needs God, and we hear God calling. Do you hear God calling you? In your dreams, where is God calling you to go? What is God calling you to do? What is God calling your church to accomplish? How will the world be changed by what you do for God?

I said earlier that God allows us free will, and that God’s ultimate desire for us will be accomplished, even in spite of what we do. We have the opportunity, every day, to respond to God as we hear God in our dreams. And if we do, then instead of God’s will be accomplished in spite of us, it will be done through us. Imagine for a moment what joy that brings.

So, when you hear the Lord of sea and sky calling you in the night, what will your response be? Will you say, “I will go Lord, if You lead me.  I will hold Your people in my heart.”

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