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The Work to Which We are Called
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
John 12:27-29, NRSV
When I was an Army Officer, we trained continuously to prepare for the eventuality of going to war. That was my role, a role for which I had volunteered. When that time came, I had friends who were upset that I was being sent into harm’s way. It was not a role that they would have chosen for me. I was not particularly happy in the moment, but that calling was the reason I was an officer in the United States Army. 
In the above passage from John, Jesus is teaching and explains how He will lose his life for our sakes. Jesus knew that, although what was coming was of the utmost personal cost, it was nonetheless for this very purpose that He had been sent. When a voice comes from heaven and confirms what Jesus is saying, the crowd with Him misses the significance of what was going on; some thought the voice was thunder, others an angel speaking. They missed what was being unveiled: that Jesus’ obedience in going to Cross, although a horrifying reality, would bring glory to the Father who in turn would glorify His Son.
To what have you been called? All of us, as Christians, are called to share the Good News, to live our lives in the love of Jesus Christ and to love our neighbors. Yet that will look differently for each of us, depending on what the Lord is asking of us. We each have our own cross to carry and sacrifice that God is asking us to make. Let us, then, focus on faithfully bearing that which God has given us and supporting our co-laborers who are bearing theirs. We may not always know or understand another’s burden, but we can press on together, supporting one another in His name.
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, and always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Rev. Lisa R. Neilson
Associate for Pastoral Care and Women's Ministries
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