Sunday, March 20

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Genesis 12:1-4a

Abram was 75 when God told him that he should leave everything familiar to him and go to a land that he did not know. Abram immediately did as God instructed.  I heard God’s call when I was much younger; however, unlike Abram, I told God, “I cannot do this at this time.  Fortunately, God does not take “no” for an answer.

During every difficult time in my life, God was there not only to support me, but also to bring good out of it leading me in the direction planned for me.  All my adult life God has been telling me to seek a vocation in ministry and finally I am listening.  In his book, Now and Then, Frederick Buechner says that God speaks to us largely through what happens to us.  He writes that “. . . I hope my readers may be moved to listen back over what has happened to them—for the sound above all else, of his voice” (Buechner 1983, 3).  When I look back over what has happened to me in my life, I find that God is there for me when I need strength and love.  Through my experiences, good and bad, God calls me to serve in ministry.

I heard God’s call even in the death of my daughter and my hospitalization during the first semester of seminary.  With God I find determination and strength and know whatever is thrown in my path, I am able to answer God’s call.  Each moment of the past with its sufferings and joys are God’s way of preparing me.  We need to look at our life experiences and follow God’s call like Abram did.

Prayer

Gracious God.  Thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us.  Thank you also for the model provided in Abram and how he listened to and heeded your call.  Through him we know that you may direct us from the familiar and lead to what may be unfamiliar but better.  Amen.

Barbara Vinson is a middler student at McCormick Theological Seminary working on her M.Div. degree.  Following graduation, she hopes to be a pastor in a church working with congregants to develop faith and a relationship with God.