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Session 3: Call in the Bible

Aim

By the end of this session you should be able to: 

  • relate your journey of call and vocation with others in scripture

.

Prayer

Blessed are you Lord our God

You call us to be lights in the world

and heralds of your love and peace.

As I work through this session

May I learn more of your call for me

and your call to the Church in your world

Amen.

Introduction

This session explores the call of God in the Bible. It begins by looking at the call of various biblical characters in the Old Testament and then moves on to the call of Jesus and his disciples in the New Testament.
Re-read the notes from the study day about the calls of biblical figures. What surprised you about those calls? What did you disagree with? Which do you most relate to?


Now read chapter 2 from Susan Jones book 'Listening to God's Call' (2014) which you will find as a pdf file in the resources section at the bottom of the page.

Abram

Watch the video opposite (or below on mobile phones).

 

Abram’s call was actually God’s call. Abram needed to do nothing except be faithful. In token of this he took on a new name and marked himself and the male side of his household physically as followers of God. However the call wasn’t in isolation. Abram’s life to that moment, and life thereafter, were all leading to God’s fulfilment of his covenant – Abram was on a journey…

Paul

Paul was on a journey to conversion; he had been running from God even whilst he thought he was doing God’s will. Thankfully he got turned around. Jesus was central to the change, with God calling him despite his protestations.


Watch  these 2 different (biblically based) accounts of Saul/Paul’s conversion and reflect on the differences between them.

 

Things To Think About

As you reflect on God’s call, spend some time reflecting on the idea of God’s call as a journey.
Use the 'To Do Box' on the top of page 7 of Listening to God's Call to reflect on your call in the light of the call of Abram.


Now listen to the opening track from the film Billy Elliott below. The lyrics of the song point to an understanding of Billy’s vocation as stretching from womb to tomb.

1. Do you think that some people might be called to express and develop one particular gift throughout their lives?
2. Can you think of any examples of such people? Reflect on the calls you've read about in the chapter or about the characters we touched on in the study day.
3. Compare two of the biblical figures and their calls. How do they differ? In what ways are they similar?
4. Is there one way that God calls people?

If you would like to do some further thinking about this (but it's optional) use the To Do Box on page 15 of S Jones (2014) to guide your thoughts.  You may also like to read the other article in the Resources section: Calling or Career.
 

Spotlight on Doctrine

During the Reformation, John Calvin, along with Martin Luther and others, helped Christians rediscover the biblical doctrine of work.


Calvin held a dynamic view of calling, believing that every Christian has a vocational calling to serve God in the world in every sphere of human existence, lending a new dignity and meaning to ordinary work.
He urged believers of his day to become salt and light in the world, thereby introducing a Christian presence and influence within their culture
.

 

Spotlight on Spirituality

St Benedict, founder of the Benedictine order, wrote that it shouldn’t be difficult to encounter God – God should be easily visible all around us. This is the purpose of salt and light, to add our unique flavour to the things of God, and to shine the light of His presence in dark places. Is that true of you?
 

Reflect

On what you have learned today. In what ways might you see your work as Salt and Light, a vocation from God to the world?

Prayer

"You are the salt of the earth".

Sprinkle us across our town, God, across our world, to bring the flavour of your Kingdom wherever we go.
"You are the light of the world.”

Uncover the radiance that is within us, God, to shine the truth of your love wherever we go.
"Let your light shine before others”

So that everyone we meet may see our lives of worship and glorify you, our Father in heaven.

Amen.
 

To Do in Church This Week

Look for those in your Church and community who are particularly ‘salty’ or light filled.  Think about (or even have a conversation with them about) what makes them so effective in their Christian service and what might give them the impetus to do what they do.

Share some of what you have found on the discussion board in the Forum.

Resources

Listening to God's Call

 Susan Jones

Calling or Career?

from Leaven