"The spirit of the LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion - to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display His glory." Isaiah 61:1-3This was the scripture spoken out into our hearts today as we sat in the pews. Oh, sometimes I am awed by the power of the Holy Scriptures spoken out loud. It is as though I can almost visibly see the words spreading out among us, reaching to our hearts, longing to be taken in, ushered into the deep spaces.
Fittingly, the sermon today was about our vocation, our vocation that God has equipped us to take on so that we might glorify Him and proclaim His power to save. No matter if you are a garbage collector, a software engineer, a writer, or a priest -- all can be done for the glory of God and unto His purpose. As someone who seems to change careers overnight, I know that no matter what my vocation is at the time, He allows me to use the gifts that He has given me to impact His kingdom in some way. But I still struggle sometimes with thinking that I am a quitter. I look back and think about how I used to dream about being the top special education teacher and getting invited on the Oprah show. I look back and think how I could have advanced up the ranks of college professor or been a creator of curriculum for Christian formation. I look ahead, squinting to see if this speaking/writing/art thing will stick, or if I will wander from thing to thing forever.
May we all be a voice in the wilderness (but maybe not eating wild locust), proclaiming, "Make straight the way of the Lord!" wherever God has placed us and with whatever tools He has given us.
Also, would love for you to join us tomorrow for Soli Deo Gloria (link opens Monday evening and goes through Wednesday night).