“Whoever listens to you listens to me,
and whoever rejects you rejects me,
and whoever rejects me rejects
the one who sent me.” Luke 16:16
Dear Examples of Faith:
You have been called! Yes, you are called to share the good news!
As a Lutheran seminarian in the early 90’s, you had to have an official panel of clergy endorse and approve you in order to continue on past your first year. During my endorsement panel, I sat on the other side of the table from Rev. Dr. Gerhard Krodel, past Dean of Gettysburg Seminary, professor for forty years at three seminaries and author of 10 books besides dozens of articles and other publications. To say the least, I felt intimidated. When he asked about my understanding of call, I realized very quickly into my answer that we didn’t agree. In rebuttal, he launched into a 12 minute diatribe on the definition of a “Pastoral Call”. I soon realized if I wanted to be endorsed, I better listen and shake my head affirmatively, as if agreeing. Well, I was endorsed, unbelievable as that may seem, and went on to finish seminary and become a pastor.
Twenty-seven years later, I still however disagree with Dr. Krodel about the understanding of call. Luke tells us that Jesus called the seventy and sent them out to share the peace of God and to tell people that the kingdom of God has come near. These seventy people were not the elite college and seminary trained professionals. They were just people from the greater crowd of followers.
In fact, when Jesus sends out the seventy, we in fact know this number is way beyond the core group of twelve that the world remembers as the apostles. They are not the famous ones given the titles of saints or placed on pedestals and have churches named after them. These people that Jesus sends out are the proverbial “others”. The men and women that history has not remembered, not named, not lifted up in honorariums. They were the crowd of believers, the workers, the followers that listened to his Word and saw his miracles. They were probably housewives, carpenters, tailors, farmers, bricklayers. They were just like you and they were picked to go and tell.
There is no doubt about it, as a baptized child of God you have a calling. God has called you to be an example of the faith, a witness of the Gospel, an evangelist to your family, neighbors, co-workers, friends and strangers alike in whatever part of life you live. You are the ones sent out into the community today throughout the Hanover area to share his love, his grace, his peace. You have been called, this summer live to fulfill that calling.
In the peace and grace of God….