Vocation is, you could say, what’s left when all the games have stopped. It’s that elusive residue that we are here to discover, and to help one another discover.
Rowan Williams in A Ray of Darkness: Sermons and Reflections (1995)
Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
I was in high school the first time I preached at my parish. I remember standing at the pulpit and nervously looking out over the congregation. Would they like my sermon? Would they appreciate the time and energy I put into its preparation? Would they understand how nerve-wracking it was to deliver it? Would they tell me that I couldn’t preach well and should discern something besides ministry? I honestly don’t remember whether that first sermon was met with praise or not, but I do remember the feeling of absolute joy I got the next time the pastor invited me to preach.
Living into our callings, whatever they may be, can be an anxious process, filled with lots of questions and doubt. The joy that comes from actually living into your vocation is unlike any other feeling in the whole world. We might not get praised for following our calling, but we do experience joy. Unlike praise or honor or glory, joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and a sign of God’s abiding presence.
God, help me to live abundantly into my vocation. Clear away the doubt and anxiety which keeps me from experiencing your everlasting joy. Amen.
Go, a disciple, called and sent.
Go, a disciple, equipped for justice.
Go, a disciple blessed
in the strong name of God:
one holy and undivided Trinity.