Advent 2, Thursday, Year A

Inspired by Acts 1:12-17, 21-26

“So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.”  Acts 1:21-22 (NRSV)

We make many assumptions about the ministries people should engage in.  Parents with children in Sunday School should volunteer to teach; professionals in the finance world should serve as Treasurer or on the budget committee.  Anyone with a good understanding of theology and the ability to guide others should attend seminary and become pastors.

But what we know or can see about another’s experience doesn’t necessarily give us insight into that person’s calling.

There were dozens of people who had been with Jesus and his disciples from the time of his baptism all the way through to his resurrection.  They had seen and done all that Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, and the rest of Jesus’ inner circle had seen and done, yet those experiences did not mean that they were to be numbered among the twelve apostles.  Only when a replacement was needed for Judas Iscariot was it even possible for one of them to be considered, and then it was only through prayerful discernment that the remaining eleven were able to decide (presumably with the input of those being considered) who of all those witnesses was actually called to be a witness.

Most of us have a multitude of gifts and experiences, but not all of those translate into callings.  Do not presume to know another’s call, and be open to prayerfully discerning your own.  There are many ways in which to serve God; seek to find the way best suited for you.

Let us pray.  Sovereign Lord, you call many people to serve you in many ways.  Grant us the humility to be open to your call, that we may not seek to fill roles that were never meant for us.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.