Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Wild Call (the Third Sunday of Epiphany)

I can hear the football came from around the corner - whistles screeching like brakes, the thud of helmets colliding with each other, and the frantic voices of the commentators, rising higher and getting louder as someone rushes down the field, and a penalty flag flies!

The fire has sunk low in the stove, and I drink a glass of red wine, eat a bit of omelet, listen to the clink of my silverware against the china plate.

Today the Book of Common Prayer offers our hearts this prayer:

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our 
Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good 
News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may 
perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who liveth and 
reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 
ever. Amen.

I read it out loud to myself as I finish my wine, and put "Poison and Wine" on repeat, again. Tonight, I need the grace to answer readily the call of our savior. Tonight, I need grace to pry open my heart again and make me hungry to chase him.

The call is wild, untamed: it does not confine itself to Sunday morning worship songs or beautiful starry nights. It does not ask you just to enjoy what you have, or to live just as you are. When He calls, He crosses every boundary, every wall, every electric fence we've wired around ourselves. When He calls, He does not notice what makes us uncomfortable or nervous or even terrified.

And some days I am afraid to say yes. I can hear it whistling to me - Hilary, come here - and I, like Adam and Eve, crouch in place, shadow myself in leaves and branches, hope that He doesn't notice. I tighten my grip around myself, and I try to close my ears.

But the wild call of Jesus is too much for my small hands pressed over my ears, for my small self crouching in the corner. It's too beautiful not to listen to. It's too good not to slowly unfold myself and peek out for a glimpse.

And tonight, I open my ears a little, walk out from behind my uncertainty a little, and He is there, singing the wild song: come here, and follow me. 

Pray with me, that we would all draw a little nearer?

Heavenly Father, we thank you that you sing us a wild and beautiful song. We thank you that in all things you are preeminent, and that you make all things new, and call us to come and follow you, over mountains and through valleys and across deserts. In all things, may we find the grace to come out from our hiding places to find you waiting for us. In all moments, may we listen to the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and draw nearer to you.

We pray this in the gracious Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


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