Genesis 22:1-18 and Matthew 4:18-22
In my evangelical church years, I was taught that God wanted to do great things through all Christians. Today’s scriptures were cited as examples of God’s call to every believer. But I was always uneasy with this teaching. Abraham’s call to sacrifice his son is one of the most disturbing stories in the Bible. Jesus’ call to his disciples seems less threatening until one realizes that they were being called to lives of sacrifice, persecution, imprisonment, torture, exile, and martyrdom. Was God expecting me to emulate these people? If so, I really did not want to be called.
So what does God expect of me? Zack Eswine has eloquently expressed a vision of discipleship that I find liberating. When we are called, we need to keep in mind our humanness. He writes:
“First, we can only be at one place at one time, which means that Jesus will teach most of us to live a local life….Second, we cannot do everything that needs to be done, which means that Jesus will teach us to live with the things that we can neither control or fix….Third, we are unable to know everyone or everything, which means that Jesus will teach us to live with ignorance, our own and other’s.”
Christ wants us to be faithful in the routine and ordinary of our lives. Pastor Eswine summarizes Jesus’ call to us: “Follow me and I will teach you to do small things slowly over a long period of time for God.”