Called Out

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)

This morning I just want to share with you another wonderful quote from the writings of NT Wright.  It's from his book For All God's Worth (Eerdmans, 1997):

What is the most beautiful thing you have experienced this week?

Maybe something you heard. Maybe some beautiful music-perhaps in church, or in the cathedral. Maybe something in the world of nature: the sun breaking through the mist and making the autumn leaves luminous, the curl of a squirrel's tail as he sat nibbling a nut. It might be something you smelt: the scent of a rose perhaps, or the smell of a good meal cooking when you were very hungry. It might be something you tasted: an exquisite wine, a special cheese, with that same meal well seasoned and well cooked.

Maybe something you experienced in work: things suddenly coming together, an unexpected new opportunity. It might be something you experienced in human relationships: a quiet, gentle glance from someone you love dearly; the soft squeeze of a child's hand. ...

I want to suggest to you...that our ordinary experiences of beauty are given to us to provide a clue, a starting-point, a signpost, from which we move on to recognize, to glimpse, to be overwhelmed by, to adore, and so to worship, not just the majesty, but the beauty of God himself.

Whenever you're talking about a "calling," it's easy to get distracted.  Our particular denomination doesn't talk about getting "a call" very much.  Perhaps it's a reaction to the way other denominations have used the term.

I think people mostly understand a call to be to a specific role.  And there are certainly examples of that in scripture.  But there's a much more basic kind of call, not to fulfill a certain duty, but to be in a certain relationship.

The first call that is offered to all of God's people is to be in relationship with the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ.  It's not about being a preacher, or a teacher, or a lawyer or a doctor.  It's about being invited to be a follower of Jesus.  That is the first and most important call that is issued to us every day.

In fact, the call is going out today.  God is calling you this very morning to renew, strengthen and rest in your relationship with him.  Have you been able to hear it yet?  If you haven't, my prayer is that you will at some point today.