Through the season of Advent, I invite you to ponder this question: How is God calling you?
As Episcopal Christians, we hold the belief that each and every person is called by God to be the “hands and feet of Jesus” in the world. Furthermore, in our baptismal vow we are asked: “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?” And our response is, “I will, with God’s help.” Let me restate that for emphasis…”I will…” There is no equivocation here. It’s not a, “well, when I have time” or “after I finish painting the living room” or even “I don’t feel like it today.” We state, emphatically, I will!
To live this “I will” out fully in our life, we have to seriously ask how God is calling us – and thus my question above for you this Advent. We are each called and respond to that calling in some way or fashion, big or small, each and every day. In more churchy terms, you are living your diaconal expression (think servanthood) of being church. But it goes deeper than that.
Often I run into people who think being a deacon or living into their diaconal expression is some grandiose thing that takes having a hot coal placed on their tongue and hearing voices telling them to be holy and saintly. Well, that isn’t exactly the experience. It’s about praying in any and all forms; talking to the stranger in the grocery store with a simple, warm hello; bringing in your neighbors trash can from the street; writing or calling your local elected official to make your opinion known on a needed service in your community; making a meal for an ailing aunt; wearing a mask so that a pandemic can come to a swifter end. All of these are forms of service that make God smile and say “with you I am well pleased.” None are grandiose and earth-shattering but to the person on the other end of your kindness and service—it just might be grandiose and the first time they have experienced such earth-shattering love.
For the rest of Advent please join me in asking and praying: How is God calling you? We both might just learn that God is asking for something new and exciting. Or, we will be affirmed in what we are doing and here God say “with you I am well pleased.”