I have been reading in the book of Acts lately. I wanted to reconnect with people who were called and responded to Christ after he had returned to the Father. I have been feeling a lot of fear around responding to God’s calling and the Saints are great models.
I came to farewell address of Paul (chapter 20). This hit different this time. We had a conversation this year about Paul and how his past was always at the front of his mind. He knew he had done terrible things and the shame and guilt of his past shows up regularly in his writing. I feel like his farewell address sums it all up perfectly though.
In a super basic summary, he has been told multiple times by multiple Spirit lead people that he will be put in chains and die in Jerusalem. Still, he is in a rush to get there. He knows he is going to die and so he says his good bye.
The aspects of this that stuck out to me is firstly, he is in a hurry to get to Jerusalem for Pentecost. I have to be real honest, if I was sure I was going to my doom, I would be dragging my feet. I would probably pull a Jonah and try and run away. Paul hears the call of Christ to Jerusalem and he is answering it and there is nothing that will keep him from it. The need to answer his call is greater than the risk to his life.
This pairs with his farewell address. He basically tells the Christians there that he is an innocent man because he has answered his call. Christ called him to share the gospel and he did that faithfully. He knew there would be evil people who rush to try and fill the void left by his death, but he could not bear that responsibility. He could only answer his call. He was not God and could not do anything more than warn them of dangers to come. The only thing that was in his power was to preach the gospel faithfully, which is what Christ called him to.
The words of a man going to his death are important because they will not be wasted. Paul focuses on what he believes is the most important because that is the last he will get to say to them. I find it interesting that in the end Paul viewed answer the call of Christ to be the most important.
Answering the Call is scary. There is so much uncertainty. We really only know one thing as we step out in faith, that Christ will be with us. He is our corner stone, our capstone, our firm foundation. The world is a chaotic mess and evil people will try and tear us down constantly, but, like Paul, we can move forward, even rush towards our doom in confidence. Christ is enough.
Answer the call and go after it.
Working for my life’s vision of writing stories in a beverage shop that I own.