Potsdam United Methodist Church
Where we let Jesus shine! Where we invite, love and nurture ALL!
Sunday Worship
11:00am Service
12:00pm Fellowship
Pastor Rev. Brooke Newell
Secretary Donna McDonald
315-265-7474

Listening for the Call

Chris Remick

How has God called you? Into what activities long term or temporary have you been lead throughout your life? Were your choices a result of divine guidance, a response to human need -your own or someone else's? Somewhere in between?

We do the things we do, say the things we say, for many different reasons.

Sometimes our behavior is driven through our connection with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

This motivating connection is what we aspire to and pray for. Awareness of the Spirit's guiding touch is key to our daily decision to follow Jesus.

My cats have served as a daily reminder to stop and pay attention to what's important. Granted sometimes they are reminding me to feed them, but regularly they have learned to redirect me to spend time with them.

Miss Kitty, she is Dad's cat but she has accepted me reminds me to take naps.

She doesn't do it all the time, but when she feels "We" need it, she will come to me and purr or mew until I get up. Then she will run into the bedroom, jump on the bed and stare at me until I lay down. When I am settled she will find her spot and go to sleep, or perhaps its deep meditation because I believe she is aware of all that goes on around her.

Theophilus will sit beside my chair looking up at me as I type and click away at the computer, until I acknowledge him. If I remain distracted, that is inattentive to him, he will stand and put his front paws on my leg until I welcome him to my lap. Once there he will settle in after a brief petting and kneading period. He is a large cat so I am pretty much limited to holding him while whatever trivial activity that had me preoccupied such as writing this sermon, is ignored.

In the mornings after I've showered and am getting ready for work, Bartholomew sits on the bed expectantly watching me. His expression and attitude is so powerful that I cannot leave until I have brushed his fur and given him a rigorous petting.

I know this is normal cat behavior, but I choose to see these cats as ambassadors of the Holy Spirit reminding me to stop and spend some time in Holy thought. It is one of the few times in the day when I put aside my other concerns and focus on centering myself around things that really matter.

Maybe it's the cats that matter, but also it is a reminder that God calls me to be still and know that God is there.

I like to find God in things I encounter throughout my day. A cool breeze on a hot summer day. Brisk wind waking me up on a bitter winter day. The sunshine on my face. The sounds of birds in the trees or high up in the sky. The bells of St. Patrick's up the street from me.

These gentle distractions that momentarily pull me away from what I am doing and draw me to awareness of the divine, are what come to mind as I read the scripture stories of God and Jesus calling faithful disciples.

The scripture readings last week and this week describe God and Jesus calling followers.

Samuel is found still in his bed quiet and probably almost asleep when God calls him. Three times it takes before Eli and Samuel realize that it is the one true God reaching out to Samuel.

As we turn to the gospels of John and Mark, we hear how Jesus begins to bring his chosen disciples together. Andrew, Simon Peter, Nathaniel, Phillip, James and John the sons of Zebedee

Jesus invitation is not an overt loud call but a gentle invitation, "Come and See" and "Follow Me".

In many cases, not all, but many, God's call is a quiet stirring that is reserved for those who are ready to hear it.

What was it about Jesus approach that attracted these men and drew them away from their work? The scriptures do not tell us much more than "Come and See" and "Follow Me". "I will show you greater things than these." " I will teach you to fish for people!"

Just as Jesus saw his disciples' epiphany that the Messiah had come, Jesus has seen each one of us as we have grown in our awareness of his divinity and the work of God and the Holy Spirit.

Some of us may remember a moment of epiphany when the truth came to us and we knew that Jesus was truly the Lord and Savior of the world and of our hearts.

Some of us may have had more gradual experiences as pieces of the mystery come together in moments of blissful awareness that leave us both excited and at peace.

Each of us approaches God differently just as God approaches us individually.

When our hearts are ready and open to listen, God call reaches us, guides us, and comforts us just as he called Samuel, the men of Galilee, and so many other men and women throughout our history.

And as we come together in fellowship to celebrate our common experience and mission as Jesus followers, God knows each of our individual stories from our birth on through.

And I believe each day is a new invitation to explore our personal call and relationship to Jesus and God.

God invites us to consider: What is my personal Gospel? What is my personal "God story?" When have I heard Jesus say, "Come and see, follow me?"

I invite you to please meditate on these questions this week and in the weeks to come as we listen for God's call in our lives and explore our own epiphany.

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus we hear your invitation and are ready to listen. Open our hearts so that we might see you in all we encounter throughout our days. Let little reminders of your presence seep into our consciousness and draw us to you. Reveal to us the many ways you have been and continue to be present in our lives. Show us our story as you see it Holy and filled with Grace. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.