You Are Called by God!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
In yesterday’s reflection, we focused on the amazing truth that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God.” Yet there’s another phrase in that thought: “and are called according to his purpose for them.” The original language does not include “for them.” To be sure, God calls people according to his purpose for them. But the scope of Romans 8:28 is wider. Christians are called, not only to our own individual purpose, but into God’s purpose for the cosmos. And what is this purpose? According to Ephesians 1, God’s purpose is to unite all things in Christ and to use us in this process, so that we might exist for God’s praise and glory. To put it simply, God’s purpose for you is that you participate with him in his purpose for creation.
In fact, you have been called by God to join him in his work of reconciling all things through Christ. Often in the church we use the language of calling only for clergy, as in “I was called into the ministry.” No doubt God does call certain Christians into pastoral work. I number myself among those who have received this particular call. But the truth of Romans 8:28 is that all Christians are called into the purposes of God. All of us are called into his ministry of reconciliation and transformation.
I exercise this calling through my pastoral work, first in a parish, and now in the ministries of Laity Lodge. I also live out my calling to God’s purpose in my family, in my church, and in everything I do . . . or at least that’s how it should be. Similarly, you are called to live for God in the various venues of your life. For many of us, the workplace is a primary venue in which to express our calling. Through your daily work, you can answer the call of God to labor for his purpose. That is, indeed, a high calling!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you think of yourself as called by God? Why or why not? How do you see your life as fitting into God’s purpose for the cosmos?
PRAYER: O Lord, what a high calling, indeed! How grateful I am that you have called each and every Christian for your purpose. We are, by your choice and power, your partners in your cosmic mission. What an honor!
Today I want to pray especially for those who will receive this reflection, but who don’t really believe they have been called into your ministry for your purpose. Help them to grasp the truth, to believe it, and to be transformed by it. Teach them, Lord, to live every part of their lives for you. Help them especially to discover that their workplace can be an altar, a holy place where they offer themselves to you as living sacrifices.
Empower your church, dear Lord, with the good news that every Christian is called into your purpose. May we embrace this truth together and live it each moment of each day. All praise be to you, God, who calls us into your service. Amen.