One approach to this week’s theme would be to talk about call. How do we hear the voice of God and how do we respond? This dramatic story of conversion seems to set a standard that not many are able to meet. Yet, we believe that the voice of God comes to each of us and to all of us. Sometimes we hear that voice through the voices of others. The call can be communal at times. So, attention during worship to listening for God’s voice would be helpful here. Prayers focused on listening for God would direct the attention of the worshipers to that theme. Maybe even an appropriate time for silence during worship would be helpful. We aren’t always comfortable with silence and want to fill it with something—background music or movement of some kind. But perhaps this week is time for “be still and know that I am God” to be the watchword for worship.
It would also be appropriate to focus on our commitment to Christ again. Let’s provide space to make and remake our commitment to be disciples, followers of Jesus the Christ. Saul needed to be introduced to the one who was calling. We might need to be reintroduced to the one who directs us. What does it mean to say we are followers of Christ? Let’s explore that together today.
Our songs are songs of praise of the Christ who calls us. Our prayers are invitations to Jesus to come and lead us, to walk with us, to guide our feet while we run this race called life. Christ is still calling; we aren’t one and done on this journey. Let’s renew our call, revive the passion we once had to service in Jesus’ name. Perhaps there could be a way of renewing our covenant to follow, an altar call, a prayer card, some way of saying “Yes, Lord” once again. We might find our mission and ministry reinvigorated by this moment in worship.
If possible, provide an opportunity outside of the worship moment to take that step and be a witness to the one we chose to follow. A march, perhaps, a hands-on mission moment, a protest or affirmation of something in your community. A show of support or challenge to change: There are all sorts of ways to give a witness in the name of the Lord who calls us. The more we do it, and do it together, the further we travel on the discipleship path.
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.