It’s a pattern: God calls; the one who is called demurs, claiming unsuitability for the task; and then, in a startling turnaround, the one who is called accepts the task. Isaiah did it, and now Peter does it. How many of us—the called of God—have followed this pattern. I know I have, and perhaps that is your story as well.
Prior to calling Peter, Jesus models a way of being with people that is instructive for us as proclaimers of the gospel. He touches people by speaking directly into their lives. Those upon whom his attention is centered experience his presence in tangible ways. The crowd demands his attention, and they get it wholeheartedly. We are called to touch the people to whom God sends us with the good news that transforms lives.
Jesus invites Peter into a relationship with him in a field of endeavor that is totally new. It is one that promises growth of an unexpected nature. Peter was not necessarily listening to Jesus, and Jesus’ request starts Peter on a course that alters his entire life. How has your life changed and perhaps grown since you responded to Christ’s call? Consider where that affirmative response has led and what growth has resulted from that turnaround decision to be a proclaimer of the good news, whether in word or deed. Consider also if your present location is still where Christ’s call would have you. Is there another field to which you are being called? The call of Christ may come again and again throughout our lives.
Open our ears, our minds, and our hearts, O God, to hear and heed your call on our lives. May our journey now and in the future be a response of faithfulness. Amen.
The theme of calling is continued in this week’s readings. Isaiah has a vision of God on the throne and is terrified because he knows that he is unworthy; yet he is being called by God. The psalmist, traditionally David, praises God for having a purpose for his life and bringing it to completion. Paul echoes Isaiah’s sentiments of his own unworthiness to the Corinthians. While assuring his readers of the reality of Christ’s bodily resurrection, Paul recognizes that he preaches only by the grace of God. When Jesus is calling his disciples, Simon Peter recognizes him as the Lord and cowers because he feels unworthy—much like the prophet Isaiah had done. These readings teach us that God’s call is based not on our worthiness but on our willingness.
Read Isaiah 6:1-13. When have you heard a difficult call from God? How did you come to finally say, “Here I am; send me”?
Read Psalm 138. How have you seen God uplift the lowly and the humble? How have these experiences changed the way you live out your faith?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. How does your life witness to Christ’s resurrection?
Read Luke 5:1-11. How has Christ called you? Whether or not you feel worthy to the call, Christ wants you to follow.
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.