Walking worthy of the calling

Ephesians 4--1August is a special month, in that during the eighth month, which symbolizes “new beginnings,” I am celebrating a particular milestone in my life. An event of supreme significance occurred 41 years ago when I was ordained to the Christian ministry. Ordination is the public recognition of a response of an individual to the call of God to serve. The recognition of this inner prompting to be of greater service may have transpired a considerable amount time prior to the actual ordination ceremony. I recall as a child being aware of the presence of God, and as I grew older and was introduced to the Bible, I remember reading the passage in Isaiah 6 where the glory of God overwhelms the Prophet, who responds to the question: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us.” Isaiah answers sayings, “Here am I, send me.” This simple response resonated within me for years, as I also came to understand more fully the words from 2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV):

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

This verse brings to mind that most memorable event that occurred August 11, 1974. Today I reflect upon my ordination ceremony which also involved a prayer of consecration, the laying on of hands, and a word of prophecy, all of which have been sources of inspiration and direction over the years. I continue to respond to God whereby I first heard His voice and answered:

The Call             

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you to walk worthy of the calling

with which you were called,

Ephesians 4:1

The call resounds like a repeated name

From the lips of a dear friend who knows you.

I clearly hear my name and see the flame

That lights the path of those whom God foreknew

Would hear and heed a higher destiny.

This calling only God can verify.

My ear cannot hear; my eye cannot see;

Yet within my heart I cannot deny

That I have heard and seen what few will know.

I must arise and strive to reach the place

Where the rivers of understanding flow

And never doubt God’s purpose and His grace.

I stand in the unbroken line of all

Those who, having heard, rise to heed the call.

I also make reference to my ordination and celebrate this milestone in this poem:

Forty-one Years Ago

Forty has long been universally recognized as an important number,

both on account of the frequency of its occurrence, and the uniformity

of its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement. . . .

It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5),

leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8). (The number eight

also signifies “a new beginning”)

There can be no doubt as to the significance of this primary number [one].  

In all languages it is the symbol of unity.

E.W. Bullinger

Forty-one years ago, the passion to fulfill the call

inflamed deep within my soul a desire to give my all.

In this golden moment, past, present, and future all converge

Where the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God emerge,

As words that God spoke over my life I vividly recall.

“The Teacher” laid hands upon me to bless and to install

Me to lead God’s people and to give my all in all.

In my mind I stand in another place where two roads diverged

Forty-one years ago.

Renewed in strength to run through a troop and leap over a wall,

To fulfill God’s divine calling nothing can ever forestall.

The rivers of understanding God’s purpose and grace still merge.

Today I stand triumphant in Christ Jesus while on the verge

Of a renewed commitment to give all or nothing at all:

Forty-one years ago.

The accompanying video also invites us to “Answer God’s call”

Anointed, a contemporary Christian musical group, offer “The Call.”

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