Prayer for the day
Show us the light of your countenance, O God, and come to us.
Scripture for the day
When I was young I assumed that if God was going to ask me to do something, it was going to be distasteful. I was convinced that the call of God, as marvellous as it could be, would only bring me misery and distress. He would call me to be a missionary in a place that hadn’t discovered running water or electricity, and I would live out my life on some island, having abandoned civilization, and die an old man, full of regret.
Yet the call of God in the scripture is not an onerous thing. Certainly it can lead us into places of discomfort, but that only really matters if we believe the purpose of our lives is comfort.
As we look at the scriptures we see people called by God to do some incredible things, some good and some distasteful. We look at Joshua, called not only to lead the Israelites but to lead them into battle, slaughtering everyone they encounter. Joshua’s call on the surface seems glorious, but in reality, it is a grim call, moving Joshua into the place of executioner.
Mary, on the other hand, receives a call not to slaughter anyone, but to carry them. Well, to carry him. God incarnate. She receives a call not to immediate glory, but to immediate ridicule followed by eventual glory. God is good to her, yes, but it’s a long-run type goodness.
Amazingly, regardless of the call, the answer of both those called is the same: I am the servant of the Lord. Mary’s is an audible answer while Joshua’s is action-oriented, but both of them acquiesce to the call of God, becoming the called-ones, and they both enter service to their God.
Servant-hood is not something that’s popular. Servility is rarely an attribute that is prised these days. But the Good God has called servants, and servants of a good Master know there is nothing so great as being called, and obeying, in service to our God.