In 1979, I attended our synod’s youth gathering in Toronto, Ontario. “Chosen?Free to Choose” was a life-changing insight for me as a young person and continues to guide me in my life choices and sense of God’s presence in my life. I was struck by Paul’s words about being set apart before being born and being called through God’s grace. Paul was violent towards Christ’s followers, and if even he can be redeemed by God’s call and sense of God’s grace, which followed him even from his mother’s womb, then there is certainly hope for all of us.
The sense of call from God can and does come when we least expect it and when we aren’t even looking for it. God calls each of us, and how we fulfill that call is very much based in our freedom to make choices. I know of several pastors who state they didn’t feel a sense of call to the ministry until they were three years into their ordination. God’s call comes, and we are free to answer that call as best we can. I learned in 1979, and again and again, that our God is not a puppet master, but rather God relies on our creativity and our freedom to respond.
O God, you call us We answer as best we can Join us as we act. Amen. — KJB