February 10, 2019
Well, this past Sunday, the 10th, we were blessed beyond measure to hear a good word from Rev Dr Chuck Beattie II. (I just started sneezing when I wrote this so it must be true!) Rev Chuck read to us from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 5 verses 1-11, and he didn't talk about the fish! Instead, with great care and thoughtfulness, Rev Chuck lead us through the call on Simon Peter's life. First, Rev Chuck situated us in Luke's Gospel. Luke is intended for Jews and Gentiles, encompasses all of Christ's life and a clear way of salvation. It is made clear that Christ's salvation is "prepared in the presence of all peoples" (Luke 2:31). This way of salvation which is prepared for all people comes with a call and an invitation.
The invitation of this call we receive on our lives, when we accept Jesus, is a call into the deep waters of life to do unexpected things, to rely on faith, and can take us to unfamiliar places. Rev Chuck told us about his call. He wrestled with his call for a long time before he ultimately accepted it and ended up at Candler School of Theology. Based on his preaching yesterday, I'd say he's definitely doing the right thing.
After Simon Peter filled his nets and boats with fish, he fell down at Jesus' feet and said, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" Luke 5:8. Simon Peter did not feel worthy to be in the presence of the Lord. We may never know all the reasons, or the exact reason, Simon Peter didn't feel worthy, but I know as a human myself that I often don't feel worthy. Rev Chuck said that God continues to call imperfect people in order to do the perfect work of God. And isn't this a blessing, friends? Thank God! Thank God calls us, all of us, to do His work! Because we are all imperfect and yet, all needed.
This always gives me so much peace -- that I am called even though I am unworthy. I had never heard the language of "call" until I started to vocalize my desires to go to Candler six years ago. Here's the thing about the word "call" or "calling," it honestly drove me nuts. I use it now, however. But, when I started the process years ago I thought it sounded elitist, like there are some people that are called and some are not. However, I think of it differently now.
I believe all Christians are called to do the work of God in this world. Some people are called to ministry in the church building but some are called to teach, and others to leadership outside the church, you can be called to construction - just look at Terry Tanner and all of the good work he does. Do you know he volunteers his time and materials and helps other churches that are in need of repair? Tell me that's not a calling! God needs each and every one of us. No one is excluded from this. So, if you haven't received a "call," I wouldn't get hung up on that word if I were you. Where does your heart lead you? Do you pray to God for direction? God will lead you. The Holy Spirit will lead you! There's way too much work to be done for God to turn anyone away.
As you walk through this week know that God needs you. You are needed to be an active part of the body of Christ. God loves you very much!