“The Psalmist unpacks what ruling under God entails, for a ruler after God’s own heart will ‘rescue the poor when they cry out to him…the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and He will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence for their lives are precious to Him.’ (Psalm 72:12-14). The net effect of God’s command to rule and subdue is a clarion call to leadership – to govern and look after God’s creation. It means that what happens in this world is our business. God expects us to pay attention and become activists on His behalf to aid those who need our advocacy and help.”
I hear it
“Megan, you can’t do everything.”
“Don’t spread yourself too thin!”
“I’m glad you care about _________, but that’s just not my calling.”
My heart breaks for many, many things
The list goes on and on.
But few things break my heart as much as when the Body of Christ refuses to care.
When we, the hands and feet, prefer to criss-cross-applesauce and sit on our hands rather than to trek off the beaten path to the leper village and lay healing hands on the dying.
I believe we have made a grave mistake in the western Church in our emphasis on individualism and personal calling.
It means people die.
It means people are enslaved.
It means the planet is limping from our neglect.
“Well, that’s nice that you’re so passionate about (orphans/AIDS/abortion/slavery/creation care), but that’s not my calling.”
We are image bearers. You. Me. Woman. Man. Our calling is the same. It is one calling.
Be the image of an invisible God in this present world.
But this is not what I see or what I have experienced in many Church settings.
A calling is “Children’s ministry” or “Music” or “Prayer”.
These are gifts, valuable ones, but our ultimate calling must be the same.
I believe God’s heart breaks and bleeds over this world and its inhabitants. As the Creator marvels over His masterpiece, I wonder if God weeps at our brokenness.
Like Jesus, weeping over Jerusalem.
And the Church is just as broken.
We’re out of sync with the heart of God, and the arrhythmia is deadly.
Instead of a body with a heart beating for a kingdom and creation restored, we have set our own rhythms, searched for our own “personal” heartbeat, bowed to the ultimate god of individualism – one of the holy grails of the West.
What keeps you up at night?
What do you live for?
What breaks your heart?
What rhythm is your heart beating to?
Jesus did not pray “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name…
…let the evangelicals save the unborn
…and the progressives save Your creation
….let the women bring your message to their children in their home
…and the men bring home their daily bread.”
Will be done.
On earth, just like it is in heaven.
That we would be one and Jesus, Creator and Holy Spirit are one.
I don’t see a lot of room for
“That’s great, but….” In those prayers.
Perhaps, instead of claiming a “lack of calling” we should call this excuse what it really is: apathy.
And spiritualizing apathy by saying you’re not “called” to invest in the things the kingdom values is straight up bullshit.
Division was never at the heart of God’s plan for how God’s image-bearers would live out their calling.
As image-bearers, kingdom-dwellers, we are called to invest in, sacrifice for and radically contribute to this calling of God’s
“…What happens in this world is our business. God expects us to pay attention and become activists on His behalf to aid those who need our advocacy and help…
“God never envisioned a world where His image bearers would do life in low-gear or be encouraged to hold back, especially when suffering is rampant, people are lost, and there is so much kingdom work to do.”
This is the third in a series of posts discussing the ideas presented in the book Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Curtis James.
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