By Brittany Mangelson of Saratoga Springs, UT, USA
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. -Matthew 4:1-2 NRSV
In August 2015, a call to priesthood was presented to me. I was fairly new to Community of Christ and came from a tradition without ordained women. I still lived in the midst of this culture, even with my new identity. Growing up in a church that considered women in priesthood an act of heresy left me riddled with shame and guilt about my call. When my call was presented, voices of the past flooded my mind and heart.
With help from my new community and God, I was able to say “yes.” But I continued to struggle with the call. Discovering whom God was calling me to become meant facing unhealthy patterns of thought and behavior. It was exhausting! I was afraid of letting down loved ones, but more so, afraid I would let past authorities and structures keep parts of my soul locked away forever. In order to commit, I had to let go of the idea that I was too broken and unworthy to offer ministry to others. I had some deep conversations with God over the next several months. When I was ordained the following April, I was ready to live into my call.
I always assumed if a call was there, it would come once I was out of the wilderness. It turns out God often calls us to new places when we are in the trenches, with no apparent way out. I had to face my past, look into my future, and sincerely reflect on what this church means to me. I also learned to see everything with new eyes. My relationships with others were positively impacted and I have been able to see more clearly the vision of Zion God is calling us to live.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.