It’s your call, Jan 15, 2012

Title:It’s your call, Jan 15, 2012

Last week we celebrated the baptism of Jesus. This week (and next) God’s call to us is explored in the context of Jesus calling his disciples as Jesus’ identity unfolds in the gospels. (The readings are here as well as the bulletin.)

Today it was the Gospel of John with the call of Philip and Nathanael. The call was different for each disciple (God called Philip, Philip led Nathanael toward Christ) and their name for Jesus was different.  However they were attentive and followed the call – "come and see" or "come and believe"  and see the benefits of the Kingdom.

In the Old Testament it is the call of the 12 year old boy Samuel to become the last of the Hebrew judges. He became a priest and prophet as Israel was moving toward a monarchy.

The children did a play about Samuel. It’s easy to miss or misinterpret God’s call as Samuel did 3 times. Eli, his guardian priest, finally interpreted it for him though his family was condemned by God due to their sins. Here is how it went:

The play begins with the light of God (Tierra), Samuel (Tucker), Kimberly (Eli), Kelsey (Ark of the God) and Cheyenne (narrator).  Samuel is in the temple lying down where  the Ark of God was located. Eli, a nearly blind priest was lying in another room. Samuel was not hindered by the distractions of the world or the problems in Eli’s family and was open to hear God’s voice.  But could he discern it ?

 

 Samuel hears a voice and thinking it’s Eli goes to him. 

 But he finds Eli did not call him

A second voice. Samuel dutifully goes to Eli who "I did not call my son, lie down again."

Yet another voice. Finally Eli figured it was the Lord calling him. Therefore Eli said  "Go lie down and if he calls you, you shall say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."

The Lord came stood before Samuel telling him he will punish Eli’s house forever.  But Samuel had to tell Eli. Samuel will become Eli’s replacement. He actions will lead toward Saul as the first monarch. 

The sermon provided examples of calls to people within St. Peter’s. The next logical question relevant to Samuel -"How do we know that these voices we hear and the nudgings   we experience are from God?  How do we know who is calling us?"

Two ideas are important:

"1. Community discernment and community support are essential when we are trying to discern whether or not God is speaking to us and pointing us in a particular direction…It’s all about community discernment—people helping one another figure out who is calling them to follow, and then supporting one another as they follow Jesus. "

"2. The second thing that helps us know whether or not God is speaking to us is the nature of what we’re being called to do. When God calls us, God challenges us to do things that we would not have dreamed possible in our wildest imaginations… And the challenge, if it is truly from God, is something that will make the world a better place, that is, something that provides a witness to all of those around us that the kingdom of God is near, as Jesus likes to proclaim."

Vestry Birthdays

We celebrated the birthdays of Terri, Cookie and Linda – all 3 called to serve on the Vestry. Vestry elections are next week. The requirements for the Vestry – adult (over 16), member of the church and known to the Treasurer and also to have a life of prayers. We have two candiates to date but others can be nominated before next Sunday’s meeting.

Another call to service is that of Outreach. Nancy reported that in the Northen Neck over 15,000 Samaritan shoe boxes were filled in 2011 and an increase of 1,782 over previous Christmas.

Samaritan shoeboxes results 2011

We had great attendance this week – 51 including several visitors. And that didn’t include Arthur, Chester or Zeke in the nursery with Judy:

Nursery 01-15-2012

While it was cold, it was sunny and bright. If one looked hard there were signs of spring – a small group of cardinals behind the parish house looking for food. 

Cardinal feasting  

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