Called…Not Qualified

{ Mark 3:13-17}

Today’s Gospel lesson has Jesus calling the first 12 disciples.

It is interesting to note that the text says that he ” …”called to Him those whom he wanted, and they came to him” Christ knew who it was whom He wanted to journey & serve with Him while He was on this earth & He called each man{ yes, back then all the  disciples Christ called happened to be men} Later on in this passage , it is written that these 12 men were to be with Him and to be sent out to proclaim the message.

No, these 12 people were not selected merely to follow Jesus around  during His time here on Earth,  part of their call to service is a call to be evangelists. We Episcopalians often shrink away at the sound of the word ” evangelism” ,  but part of what Christ wants all of us to do today is to proclaim the Gospel, not so much by what we say but by action. As did Christ  with the first disciples, He calls us into action today.

We all, by virtue of our Baptism, have a responsibility to be evangelists: my Protestant friends many time refer to this as the priesthood of all believers.  But we  Episcopalians also believe that there are certain people{ yes, both men and women, thanks be to God!} who are called to represent Christ in a different way. As do our Roman Catholic  sisters & brothers, we Anglican Christians also  ordain certain people into Holy Orders. 

But, God does not call ” perfect people” to serve the Church as deacons, priests & bishops.  But these people who are called to Holy orders also have a special responsibility to God & to the Church Universal. Our Prayer Book { page 531-32} has a special part in the ordination of priest where the bishop asks the candidate a series of questions The first two  are as follows:

Bishop: My {Sister or Brother}  do you believe that you are truly called by God and His Church to the priesthood?

Answer: I believe I am so called.

Bishop: Do you now, in the presence of the Church commit yourself to this trust & responsibility?

Answer: I do.

No , deacons & priests are not expected to be perfect  people. But, those who are called to Holy Orders are expected to  adhere to a set of standards  which embody the  idea that priests are aware of the responsibility to which they are called. Thankfully, I have met some fabulous priest, several of whom I am so Blessed to  also know as friends. Every deacon, priest or bishop I have met  has his or her own set of special gifts which make their  vocation unique. Thanks be to God for diversity of thought, liturgical style, homiletical, ect among our deacons, priests & bishops.

I heard a statement from a  friend of mine who is a Presbyterian pastor long ago. She once told me:

” Sarah, God doesn’t call the qualified, God qualifies the called. ”

Amen. If God only called the qualified, then there wouldn’t be anyone  who would discern , let alone pursue the ministry of Holy Orders.

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Comments

  • TSwain  On 02/02/2010 at 2:11 am

    I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

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