Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reminded of Our Calling

Earlier today I was flipping through the new Presbyterian hymnal, looking at the hymns it recommended for weddings. (My wife had asked if I had any thoughts on good hymns for our daughter's upcoming wedding.) One of the suggestions was a baptism hymn entitled, "I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry." As hymns go, it's a newbie, written in the 1980s, but I've heard it sung a few times and like the tune. I began to read the verses, but tears made it difficult.

I'm not certain what caused the tears. I suppose it was some intersection of thinking about a child now grown along with the notion of God always there alongside. If it gets used at the wedding, I doubt I'll be able to sing it.

That hymn and its impact on me were still fresh when I read today's lectionary passage from Ephesians, where the Christians at Ephesus are urged to "to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called..."  And I thought about my life and my family and my faith and how easy it is sometimes to live life without much sense of God there alongside or with much appreciation of loved ones. How easy it is to neglect those relationships, to take them for granted and fail to nurture and tend them. That goes equally for family relationships and the divine one.

I life worthy of the one to which I am called surely requires a certain attentiveness that I do not always practice. The busyness of work and life can push off to the sides the very things that life is all about. Jesus says the core of our lives is about love, love of God and of neighbor. (I'm pretty sure family gets counted in the neighbor part.) Yet I often find myself preoccupied with things that are not about loving God or neighbor, not even those closest to me. I get focused on tasks and addressing all the things that make me anxious, many of which are totally out of my control.

A life worthy of the calling to which you have been called... I wonder if the words of the hymn struck me so because they reminded of my truest calling, everyone's truest and deepest calling, which at its core is about love.

Click to learn more about the lectionary

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