Vocations Sunday 15 May

Post date: May 4, 2011 3:56:01 PM

“Hello?”. . .

“God here - do you have a moment?”

If only it were that straightforward!

Over the period of Lent many of us have been attending the Study Group considering God’s call to all of us and we’ve used the ‘logo’ of a mobile phone receiving a call from God. And coincidentally, the 15th of this month is designated by the church as Vocations Sunday.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if the discovery of our intended path and calling in life were so simple. Unfortunately, we all know that it doesn’t quite work like that.

So . . . how do we discern what God is calling us to do - our Christian vocation?

First and most importantly of all, we can all be confident that God is calling! The words of Jesus to the Galilean fishermen are still being spoken in the hearts of all those who are open to hear him: “follow me”! In addition to any specific call to any specific work or ministry, God is still calling every one of us to become followers of Christ.

And Saint Paul urged the Christians in Ephesus “to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”(Eph 4:1-3) This is our primary and on-going call: to become active and faithful members of the body of Christ.

But what about the other kind of call? The burning conviction that we are supposed to be doing something special and distinct for God in order to build up the body of Christ on earth. God does call some people to a variety of ministries for which they have to be selected and trained. These include the priesthood, reader ministry, being missionaries, counsellors or youth workers. Such calls often involve thoughts and desires that just won’t go away, and also encouragement from other people who can sometimes see our potential more clearly than we can ourselves.

Usually, though, God’s call involves recognising what we love to do and what we’re already good at, and looking for opportunities to use our time and talents in our homes, communities, churches and places of work - or even abroad! If, for instance, I am a good listener, perhaps I could use my talent to visit people who are housebound or help out with a reading scheme at a local school. If my passion is arts and crafts, there might be a call for my talent and skills in a Sunday school or at a community centre, or creating new works of art for my church. If I really care about helping young people, I could volunteer my time and other resources for church or community projects that are aimed at this age group.

Where service to God is concerned, it is often the case of being able to see a need and then being willing to respond. No matter what the call, though, it will always be the case of being - and becoming - the hands and feet of Christ, seeing with his eyes and allowing his compassion to inspire and motivate all that we do. That’s what’s at the heart of true discipleship, and that’s a call for all of us, for all of our lives.