Lenten Devotional for Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1 Corinthians 1:20–31 “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters!” – 1 Cor. 1:26

Consider your call! Consider your life! Consider your vocation! What is it that God is calling you to be and do? This is what Lent is for: to consider how you are to live the life God has given you!

This scripture passage is rich! Among other things, it declares that it is GOD who chooses. And God chooses what appears foolish to most people: what is weak and overlooked and demeaned. God chooses what is unconventional, unexpected and unwanted. I think that God knows us all too well. At times we are numbed by routine and trapped in our craving for security! And how we love to be comfortable. But God seems to have something better in mind for us than these things. And in order to get our attention, God acts “outside the box.” God often surprises us, gets us to turn aside, pause, listen, and consider afresh. Like a burning bush or water turned to wine or Jesus being raised from the dead, God acts to wake us up! Then God chooses us, changes us, and empowers us to put aside our fears and join the dance of life.

A few years ago I was taking a “sabbatical” from church. I was comfortable. I had a happy routine. But the Spirit was also nudging me. Three Easters ago, I finally followed that call and arrived at Northminster Church on a bright sunny morning. God was there. The Spirit of Christ was there. Joyful, committed people were there who welcomed me so warmly that I knew that I just had to return. And I did. I found that at NPC, God was NOT kept at a distance by a safe, guarded, but happy group wrapped up in their own little controlled world. Instead, at NPC I found an open community that accepted me as I am, who gave me time to find a niche of my own, who provided hospitality and caring that I needed more than I was willing to admit. NPC exudes welcome with acts of kindness, with goals of peace, love, justice for all. This is indeed what “the world” calls foolishness! It is my hope that during this season, each of us will take up such foolishness as proclaiming Christ’s sacrifice for all and sacrificing some of our own comfort and security so that others may know the Way of Jesus and God’s eternal love.

Gracious, surprising God, as we awaken to your presence and the gifts that you have showered upon us, may we act in faith with love as we walk the Way of the Cross to Easter and beyond.

Rob Stewart

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