Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A

Isaiah 49:1-7 • Psalm 40:1-11 • 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 • John 1:29-42

We often begin things and are called to things that take us in wide and varied directions. Sometimes we begin with one intention and we end up doing things and going places we could never have imagined.

We all have examples of this in both pedestrian and dramatic ways.

Have you ever been hired for a job and six months later wonder how you job description has any connection to what you actually do?

Or maybe you struck up a conversation with a person who is homeless and found yourself running a Day Center.

When Barack Obama took his oath of office, he had no idea he would be giving the eulogy for a 9 year old girl in Arizona.

None of us can ever know where things will lead.

It is especially hard to predict where we might end up if we are following...or being pushed or pulled by God.

Imagine Isaiah's situation. Isaiah talks of how he was intimately known by God before he (Isaiah) was born, and when Isaiah talks about how he feels unworthy God tells him that Isaiah would now have greater responsibility than God originally intended.

The Psalmist was doing his best to follow God and evidently found himself in a desolate pit. However, he continued on trusting God and God set his feet on a rock and made his steps secure. He began to follow, found himself in a sticky bog, continued to follow, and found himself secure again.

In Paul's letter to the followers of Jesus in Corinth, we see Paul giving thanks for all the changes he has seen in them as they have followed Jesus. He is offering them a bit of re-framing so they can see some of where they have come from and to.

In the gospel of John we get another view of our friend Saint John the Forerunner. He is telling a bit of his own story that he did not understand when he began. In this account we see some disciples that began to follow Jesus who had no idea where they would end up. Peter surely didn't imagine that he would be the rock upon which Christ built his church. And we see Jesus himself on the front end of his ministry that he may not have had an idea of where it would end.

We all look for and find our piece of work in this world. Sometimes our work seeks us out and finds us. And it is our responsibility to attempt to be faithful every day to the work and to the lives that get laid out in front of us. And over time, we might learn to roll with the surprises, with the unexpected terror and joy that is the life of the called.

What makes you think that I can do what is you ask me to do?
What makes you think that I can stretch this way and that?
What makes you think that I will hear and listen and obey?
Oh, yes. I am your creation. And I am in your presence.
Surely I will come around.
Walk beside me.
And give me a push out of the safe places.
Thy will be done.

© matt & laura norvell 2011 www.settingourstones.org
we want to share this with you and hope you'll share with the world;
we simply ask that you let people know where you found these words.
May Grace & Peace be with you.

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