Thursday, 5 September 2013

The call of a Christ follower

When I first started working for the Ignite Conference in 2012, we sat down to have our first team meeting and as a little ‘get to know you’ exercise, we went around the table sharing what we had to offer to the Ignite Conference. I remember a cold shiver of panic ran up my back and my heartbeat quickened – I had no idea what to say. Eventually when it came to my turn, I said simply “All I have to offer is my yes”.

I felt like the widow who gave only two coins to the synagogue treasury (Mark 12:41-44). I had so little to offer, but I was willing to offer it all.

Since then I’ve grown and changed and come through (almost) two Ignite Conferences (twenty-one days to go!). Obviously I’ve learnt a lot and now have at least something to offer. It’s the same for all – for everyone has to start somewhere. It’s the catch-22 of any school leaver looking for work: no one will hire them because they have no experience, yet if no one hires them, then how do they ever get any experience?

It’s cliché, but true all the same: God does not call the equipped; He equips the called. He stretches us in ways we never imagined and we come out on the other side bigger, stronger, braver: equipped. And then He calls us again.

So don’t think you’re exempt. Just because you’re studying full time or have four children or are trying to pay off a mortgage, that He doesn’t have a call to service in the Church for you. Perhaps it’s something little, like bringing up the offertory at Mass or serving tea and coffee afterwards. Perhaps someone in your parish needs a lift each Sunday or there are pilgrim billets coming to town. Perhaps it’s something of a larger commitment, like worship or children’s ministry or chaplaincy at your local high school. Though, perhaps your call is subtler like that of St. Therese of Lisieux: in each action to act with love, to quietly serve in the background – in prayer and fasting, in almsgiving, in doing the things that go unnoticed. Like the dishes, the laundry, the letterbox drop for the upcoming election…

For many of these tasks, only God sees. And further, for many of these tasks, only God sees the heart with which you do it.
“Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
 Whatever it is, you have a place in the Church and He has called you to be a part of it.
“The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known.” (CCC 2472)
So, whether you’re a priest in the pulpit, the worship leader in the band, part of the hospitality team bringing cakes and slices, or a teenager reading out the first reading, God has called you to act as a witness of His love in your situation. For what good is being a Christ follower if we do not act like Christ? Even amidst the anger, the frustration, the impatience, we are called to love.
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” (Romans 13:14)
A friend messaged me with some wise words a few days ago:
“Find peace amidst all the busy-ness, that it would not distract you from the One who this is all about.” 
It was a nice little reminder of why I said yes in the first place…

Some info on stewardship of your time, talent and treasure:
God bless,