Dear Friends…

One of my core understandings of God is through the concept of call. I believe that God calls to us, speaks to us, invites us into relationship and invites us into action. God invites us to build God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

This concept of call is not new. I believe this can be traced back to the opening words of the book of Genesis where God calls the universe into being and the universe responds! God calls the light and the land, God calls plants and stars and birds and wildlife, and life bursts into being. And God calls the first humans into existence—in God’s own image—and breathes into us the inspiration of God’s Spirit to bring us to life.

We are built to respond to God’s call!

We have spoken about the Pentecost work that must be done in the face of the profound pain we can see in the world. Many have asked me what specifically each person must do to engage in this Pentecost work, and I confess I do not have that answer. For each of you who wonder that same question, I do not believe your leader, your pastor, your friend, your mentor… I do not believe anyone has the answer to that question for you. I think that question must be yours to answer.

But that does not mean that you are alone.

Because I do believe that your leaders, your pastors, your friends, your mentors… I believe that we are here to encourage you and challenge you and guide you and support you along your journey to discover what and who God is calling you to do and be. Your call from God is as unique as you are. Perhaps—as Pastor Lydia noted among clergy—it is your “schtick.” You might use tools like prayer, conversation with a friend or mentor, a spiritual gifts survey (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/spiritual-gifts-inventory), or some other tool to help guide you along the way.

Have the courage to take these steps even if you do not know where they will lead. Have the courage to go to unexpected places, figuratively or literally, and discover that in doing so you are responding to God’s divine call.

You are created in God’s image and empowered by God’s Spirit! Go! Take the next step!  Rev. Bob Rhodes, PBUMC

Sunday’s text: Matthew 9:35-10:8