Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blogging toward Sunday

Our readings for this Sunday include I Samuel 3:1-10 and John 1:43-51, both of which are call stories. During the night, the voice of God repeatedly calls Samuel. Through Philip, Nathaniel hears about Jesus and goes to see for himself, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” While our call to service may not come as dramatically as either of these stories, still each baptized believer is given kingdom work to do on behalf of our Lord. This Sunday we have the grand opportunity of celebrating the ordination and installation of our new class of Elders. Four individuals have heard the call to help lead our church forward. Praises be offered!  

As you prepare for worship, take some time to meditate on Sunday’s readings. Then consider Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18. In this beautiful psalm, the theme of being known by God continues. No matter where we are—asleep in the middle of the night (like Samuel) or sitting under a fig tree (like Nathanael) God knows where we are. Is there anything more comforting to know?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was martyred for his beliefs during WWII, wrote this beautiful poem that reiterates who we are and whose we are.   

Who Am I?
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (March 4,1946)

Who am I? They often tell me I stepped from my cell’s confinement 
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly, Like a squire from his country-house. 
Who am I? They often tell me I used to speak to my warders 
Freely and friendly and clearly, As though it were mine to command. 
Who am I? They also tell me I bore the days of misfortune 
Equally, smilingly, proudly, Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of? 
Or am I only what I myself know of myself? 
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage, 
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat, 
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds, 
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness, 
Tossing in expectation of great events, 
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance, 
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, 
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other? 
Am I one person today and tomorrow another? Am I both at once? 
A hypocrite before others, 
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling? 
Or is something within me still like a beaten army, 
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved? 
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine. 
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!

On your journey toward Sunday, may you listen for God’s voice and may you know that no matter what, you are known and loved by God. I look forward to seeing you during worship on Sunday.


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