Do you know what it is like to be chosen? Well, you do because you were. Our texts this week are about being chosen by God. Most of us don’t think that we were chosen, certainly not to be king like David. But surely, we chose the jobs that we do and the hobbies that we pursue and the service that we perform, didn’t we? Well, yes. But God chose too. And not just in the past tense, God is still choosing.
But too often we think of being chosen by God as something for other people, for special ones like saints or clergy or mission workers or something. So, let’s explore the idea of vocation this week. Vocation comes from the Latin vocare, and it means to call. A vocation is a calling in the purest sense of the word. What is your calling? That might be a question worship asks of the hearers this week. Perhaps your vocation is the job that you do to make a living. That sometimes happens. Often, however, folks have a job to make money and support their family, but their calling is something else. Maybe some volunteer work in the community or the church. Maybe something done behind the scenes, writing or mentoring, visiting the sick or caring for the church facility. God calls us to all sorts of tasks and opportunities.
In some settings, finding one’s calling is partnered with some sort of spiritual gift assessment. Here we explore how God has equipped us for the various ministries that can be done inside and outside the church. If there is such an opportunity available, some information shared as to how one enters into that process would be appropriate today.
If we listen to the gospel text, however, we discover that sometimes God calls us not to a specific task or job, but to be a living witness. The man born blind became an example of how God works in this life. While his story might be more dramatic than most, being available to talk about God working in our lives is a calling that all of us have. We are called to be witnesses. The blind man’s story is a good example of what a witness does. Though there were those who wanted him to interpret, he just wanted to tell. “All I know,” he said forthrightly. A witness tells what she knows, not what happened to someone else or what someone else has understood. A witness uses the substance of his own life to be the pointer to what God is doing in the world.
So, in worship, we can pray for God to reveal to us our vocation, and at the same time, we can pray for opportunities to share what we have already come to understand as our mission and ministry. We can sing praise to the God who calls and the God who works within us. We can be sent out to declare the goodness and the ongoing presence of God in our living and our working.
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.