The season of Advent has begun. Officially the beginning of the Church liturgical year, we prepare ourselves to celebrate the miracle of Jesus Christ’s birth.
As I consider the story told time and time again, I begin to see something I hadn’t before: all the major characters enter into the narrative by answering a call. Mary and Joseph were both visited by an angel who delivered God’s call to be Jesus’ parents. The shepherds were also visited by an angel who called them to come and see the Messiah, and to spread the good news of His birth. The Magi saw a star which called them to visit and worship the baby King.
We are all called to our own vocations. I look back on the last couple of months, and realize that God has been working to make my calling very real to me. While we prepare for Christmas, I’m preparing for something else amazing; it’s called the Urbana Student Missions Conference, held in St. Louis the week after Christmas, and I’m going with some friends from my church. It’s meant to be a time for connecting with other people in missions and ministry, to hear about what God is doing all over the world to further His kingdom. To listen for our Call.
Yesterday those of us from my church who are going had an orientation meeting to get ourselves ready for our time at Urbana. We wrote down questions we’re bringing, things we’re looking for from God, what we think our Call might be. Things I think mine could be:
Writing? Definitely. So definitely that the certainty runs in my bones. I’ll explain why later. How can I use my desire to write for God’s glory?
Preaching? Maybe…it’s possible. Words and stories are key to proclaiming and explaining the Gospel. Would I be preaching full time or only sometimes?
Whatever the answers to my questions, I need to be listening closely for them; within those answers is my Call. Worries about fundraising, about not being called into work for two months so far, about whether or not I’ll hear what I want to from God — all these need to take a back seat. They can drown out God’s voice.
We say of Advent that it is a time of “preparing our hearts for the Saviour.” Let the preparations begin.