The Longing of Souls that are Yearning

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Mark 1:14-20

We can only imagine what the first followers of Jesus were thinking or feeling when Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee and called them to follow. We do know how they responded to the summons. They immediately left all behind and moved toward an unknown future. It seems rather far removed from us. Seldom do we know such spontaneity around major life decisions.

But we can still identify with a faith that moves us forward as we trust in something greater than our own well thought out plans. In the story we can feel the words, “You who have fished other waters; you the longing of souls that are yearning: O loving Friend, you have come to call me.” (ELW 817)

The good news that the first disciples were called to follow was “the kingdom of God has come near.” This immediacy is all over the Gospel of Mark because Jesus was ever so present for people in all their hurts and longings. The disciples were invited to fully participate in this ministry of presence in the present moment.

As we listen to the variety of call stories in the scriptures it gives us the chance to reflect upon our own calls – unique to each one of us. It is the very nature of our ministry to affirm the many ways we share in the presence of Jesus in the world. Much of our ministry is helping one another listen to God calling with all the wonder and challenge it involves. Much of our ministry is equipping and supporting one another as we live out those calls.

I think of the insights here of Parker Palmer. The Quaker teacher Douglas Steere was fond of saying that the ancient human question “Who am I?” leads inevitably to the equally important question “Whose am I?” – for there is no selfhood outside of relationship. We must ask the question of selfhood and answer it as honestly, as we can, no matter where it takes us. Only as we do so can we discover the community of our lives. “Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation,” 2000, Jossey-Bass Inc

Pastor Randy