“Here am I Lord; send me!” Isaiah’s call, one of the lectionary readings for Trinity Sunday, captured my attention again when invited to preach on that Sunday. We will not go into the heaviness of his call – I will save you from the sermon – however, it may be timely to revisit his response.
“Here am I, send me.” What does it mean as we move into the new normal thanks to the vaccines? Actually, I’ve been asking the question for some time, as one who has made it to the promised land of Medicare. The commercials and consumerism promote retirement age as YOUR TIME! Do the things you want to do! Go where you want to go! Throw away the alarm clock! Does this ring true for a person, who after an encounter with God (even if not as dramatic as Isaiah’s) raised his or her hand and said, “Here am I.”
I have a friend who was ahead of me in the retirement game. When he was about a year into his new life, following the counsel of the culture – do what you want, go where you want…. He confessed to me, “I need more meaning.” The Biblical call stories are always a wakeup call for those of us who have made promises to God along the way.
Let’s go back to the pandemic and the new normal. I visited with a faithful church member who spoke of two groups of folks she observed in her church. There are those who did the reaching, the stretching, the caring through the pandemic. She said they are tired – burned out. Some may have to take the bench for a while but, after a rest they will be needed back in the game. God will need you back in the game.
The other group, said the active church member, are the hesitant. They have been out of circulation, out of routine and are hesitant to get back into the flow of worship, witness, and service. This is the time to dust off our call stories, renew the promises we made to God and other Christians.
It was my privilege to sit with a 100-year-old pastor in the hospital as he was facing his last days. He was faithful to the end. We visited about his life, ministry, and the hope…. Our hope. This pious saint said, “I gave my heart to Jesus a long time ago, I guess he wants it again.”
In the new normal, at whatever stage of life – Jesus still wants our hearts.
The Ministry Collaborative welcomes pastors from throughout our program and broadening network to contribute to our weekly articles. This week, our thanks to Rev. David Feltman, TMC Upper Midwest Regional Coordinator, for his reflection.