From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 3rd Sunday after the Ephiphany

Hi all,

So school is back on in full effect now after the Christmas break, and we’re back to all the books and teachers’… uh… looks.   Like most parents, I don’t mind the kids being in school at all.  At school, not only do they learn facts and skills that will help them later in life, but they also learn social skills, how to cope and deal with problems, and how to relate and empathize with others.  Oh, and the fact that they’re out of the house for 5-6 hours is great too.

But the thing that I’m not a fan of when it comes to school days…. is waking the kids up.  They kick.  They scream.  They cry.  Then they make every excuse in the book to take the  day off.  I can’t even blame them, as I’m not that big on waking up either, so I guess it runs in the blood.

There are some days however, very rare, that they wake up on their own and are just ready to get on with the day.  Those are the days that shock me, but in a pleasant way.  It’s like they’ve realised that school is a place that many things are accomplished and is good for them, and that they get up with excitement, ready to tackle whatever the day brings.

Then tomorrow happens and it’s back to kicking and screaming.

Here are the readings for next week:
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

Today we talked about being called by God, and here we see the response to that call.  While we are familiar with the Jonah story (you know, with the big fish), we don’t always see or hear this part of the story, where Jonah heeds to God’s commands and preaches the good news to Nineveh, the city that he himself wasn’t too fond of.  And we also see Jesus’ own disciples, on a moment’s notice dropping their nets and friends to follow him.

And you know what?  I can’t do that.  Not by a long shot.  I love my family and my friends and my life in general too much to just give it all up to follow Jesus.  I love this city, all the things that Vancouver has to offer, and even my car too much to ever leave.  I just love the way things are right here, right now too much to ever be able to drop it all because Jesus asked me to.

So I guess it’s a good thing that Jesus isn’t asking (or at least I don’t think he is).

I don’t think God expects us to drop everything at a moment’s notice.  I don’t think we’re expected to give up everything just because we’re called.  I don’t think that we need to sacrifice big in order to reap the benefits of what God is calling us to.

Rather, I think those benefits, those blessings, those promises that God calls us to trust in and accept are what drives us to get up in the morning, sacrifice daily, and serve our God.  I think as followers of Jesus we just go and do and be without really having to force ourselves into anything.  I think that we are indeed called and we do indeed listen, but we just sometimes need to be reminded that we are called into where we are now.

Student?  You’re called to be a student.  Parent?  You’re called to be a parent.  Retired?  You’re called into retirement.

I would argue that where we are now is where we are to be, and God fills it with God’s love and grace, reveals to us within it that God is present with us, and shows us abundant blessing that overflows our cups.

This isn’t to say that we won’t have days that we just don’t want to get out of bed, but it is to say that God will be with us also on those lazy days as well as the busy and productive ones, just as God is with us in every area of our lives, showing us that we are part of this body of Christ and citizens of God’s kingdom.

Thanks be to God!  Have a great week everyone!tlkjas

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