Today’s scriptures are all about God’s call in the lives of humanity. We all experience some kind of call or draw to God in our lives. So we all can relate to these accounts. I remember when I first became aware of my call. I was a young child of 12 years old. I remember sitting in the middle of my parent’s living room on the rug watching The Bells of Saint Mary’s with Bing Crosby. My aunt had just gotten it for me for Christmas. And as I watched, it was like all of a sudden everything just became so clear in my mind and almost in a matter of fact way I knew that I wanted to help people find comfort in their faith.
However, as time went on there were all these excuses that I came up with to not recognize what I had known to be true. I was called to God’s work. I couldn’t be called to this work, women weren’t ministers. I had never seen one at least. I couldn’t be a minister there was too much education that was needed and I was uncertain whether I was intelligent enough. I couldn’t begin to answer the call, I was just a child. I couldn’t because what would my friends and family think of me. I didn’t exactly come from a religious family and middle school girls are brutal. No. I couldn’t have possibly been called to God’s work. I resolved to ignore my call. I told my friends I wanted to do anything but the real thing: a teacher, an astronaut, or a marine biologist.
God calls to each one of us though. He calls to us in ways that will open our eyes and surprise us with his requests. Requests that we feel cannot be accommodated with our lives the way they are, callings that require us to place our trust in the will and work of God. God reaches to each us calling us from our journeys to take notice of him and of others around us and to begin a new journey with him in the lead. If we accept and follow where he takes us then he will reveal himself to us time and time again and we will learn just how strong we can be, just how knowledgeable we truly are about those matters that are spiritually based.
There are no requirements for being called. We do not have to be educated. We do not need to have led only good lives. We don’t need to be from a religious family. Let’s take a look at who God has called. Moses was the son of a lowly slave and had a speech impediment. He was a fugitive from the law in Egypt having murdered an Egyptian task master. Yet he was still called. Jacob was called and blessed by God yet he stole from his brother what was rightly his. Jeremiah was a young child with no authority or education. Isaiah, whose story we heard this morning, was one among a whole bunch of prophets (not all of whom were chosen) whose only job was to perform the cultic practices of the temple. Jesus chose average people to follow him who were fishermen, uneducated, not priestly, poor, and sinners.
God does not choose people as we would think he should. He does not choose just the highly educated or the most intelligent. Soren Kierkegaard once wrote, “Christ did not appoint professors, but followers … for Christianity is a message about living and can only be expounded by being realized in men’s lives”. Christ chose people for their hearts and not because of any special talent. And as Christians today, we are each chosen not for a special talent or high standing in society or our educational backgrounds, but because of the heart that God has placed inside each one of us. We are called as followers of Christ because of our desire to know God and because of our desire to become better people through the work and touch of Christ.
We are called because of our faith and because of the experience of God in our lives. We are called to cultivate and work on our relationship with the holy and to share what we have come to know to be true with others. God will give us the strength, the courage, and the words we need to do his work. We just need to trust him to lead the way.
In Peter’s call story it says, “And when Jesus had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.’” Sometimes we do not have enough confidence in our own call’s pull on our lives. Sometimes we doubt his presence or just plain ignore it because we don’t have enough confidence in ourselves and in God. We are called to place aside our self doubt and to trust, as Peter had, that Christ knows what he is doing when he calls us to be his disciples and to change the world through his leading.
So take some time this week to center yourselves through moments of prayer, reading of scriptures, and asking God to take the lead. And see where God takes you next in your journeys; see how Christ is calling you into discipleship and in to his work. You are talented enough, you have enough knowledge, and Christ calls all people to his side to live into his words and his life. Our challenge as followers of Christ is to have the courage to walk in his light.
 Soren Kierkegaard, Dutch philosopher. 19th century.
 Luke 5: 4-5, RSV.
(Based on Isaiah 6: 1-13 and Luke 5: 1-11)