Discern God’s Call
Charmaine Chvala-Smith, Spiritual Formation Ministries
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! -2 Corinthians 5:17
Arriving to church early, we were invited into the children/youth class (a rare treat), to talk about priesthood offices. The teacher had described the offices while explaining that we’re all called to bring ministry. We talked about people they knew in various priesthood offices.
I asked, “Who’s your favorite minister?” Some answers were predictable-ordained members who exemplified kindness or interesting preaching. One answer reduced the group to giggles. A teenager claimed Nicholas was her favorite minister. “Why the giggles?” I asked. She replied, “It’s probably because Nicholas is 6 years old. He plays his violin some Sundays, and he’s not very good. But you can’t help but see how much he loves offering his gift!”
In today’s scripture Samuel, a much-beloved and respected prophet of Israel, is troubled. King Saul has let his hunger for peoples’ praise deafen him to God’s commands, and Samuel knows Saul soon will be replaced. God asks Samuel to find and anoint the new king. Samuel and the entire kingdom know Saul is unstable emotionally. If Saul discovers what Samuel is doing, the prophet, the new king, and anyone near them will be in grave danger!
Samuel trusts; God helps him avoid Saul’s attention and eventually reveals the future king. But Samuel hadn’t expected to anoint a teenager as king! Samuel discerns God’s call and responds, but he can’t explain why this youth was called or see what God sees. It isn’t his to decide if this young man is enough for the task.
The young man, David, was not enough-if you expect perfection. David broke a lot of commandments! God’s call to serve doesn’t assume we’ll do it flawlessly or have all the correct answers. God just asks for our “Yes.” That is enough. Whether we are David or Nicholas, the call is to offer our strengths and weaknesses to God’s creative work for the world. Like Nicholas, we sometimes will be off-key and out of tune. But also like him, as we respond to God’s call, God’s presence comes through. After all, isn’t the heart of ministry to point to the One who loves and calls us all?
“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).
Embodying God’s Shalom
Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.
What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider 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.