This summer all of the adult Sunday School classes have been meeting together in the Fellowship Hall
on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am. We are currently studying
The Call: The Life and Message of the Apostle Paul by Adam Hamilton which
follows the journeys of Paul from the road to Damascus to the sun-drenched lands of modern-day Greece and Turkey, to a Roman prison. You'll see exactly where some of the most dramatic events in the spread of Christianity took place, and gain a better understanding of Paul's missionary travels. The video segments make me feel like I myself am on a summer vacation as we watch Hamilton tracing Paul's missionary journeys in these faraway places. Hamilton has his video-taped "journey" structured to follow along what is believed to be Paul's journeys. But Paul's travels were not structured. He did not always know where he was going. When he set out, Paul counted on God to lead him, not being completely clear precisely where God would take him. As Hamilton points out, "often God's call seems to come with no clear direction except 'Go!' In our Google Maps world, having no clear direction can make us crazy. We want to know exactly where we're going before we start, along with step-by-step directions for how to get there. But God's direction for us is often less clear in the moment we are called. It requires us to pay attention at each step and look for signs." Paul simply knew that God was calling and at every juncture on the journey he responded to that call. Sometimes he had to backtrack. Many times he had to stop and minister along the way, often staying for long periods of time. He did not have a timed agenda or know how long a particular trip would take. The journey was more important than any final destination. He only knew that he was to share the gospel wherever he was at that moment in time.
This study challenges us to listen for God's call - as individuals and as a faith community - and discern where it is leading us. How comfortable are we to respond to a call that does not have all of the details or assurances that we usually need? Can we travel out of our comfort zones? And can we stop along the way, ministering patiently on a journey that has an unclear destination? Are we able to, as the old cliché goes, "stop and smell the roses" along our own missionary journey, listening for where God is leading us in each moment and place on the path? What is God calling us to do right now?
In these warm summer days, may we use every opportunity to share God's love with the people we meet on our daily journey. It may be a leisurely walk in our neighborhood. It may be our hectic commute to and from work. May we try to listen for God's call on our lives and be a witness to the people we meet and the places we go.
This Sunday while our Senior Pastor Matt Bates is away on vacation, our Minister to Senior Adults, Cheryl Owen-Watson, will preach at both services "The One Thing Necessary."
I hope you'll join us for worship and Sunday School!
Director of Membership Development