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Trail Notes

Trail Notes: 01/14/2018

Posted 4:41 PM by

To Be Fully Known

“O God, you search me and you know me….” 

So begins the 139th Psalm, long one of my favorites.  Why?  Because it describes my own relationship with God – the mystery we call God, whom we can love but never fully know, but who knows us deeply and completely yet loves us still. 

For me, this psalm is closely related to my call from God – my vocation.  It is the God who searches me and knows me who gave me, 39 years ago, a sense of call to the priesthood of the church.  After several years of discernment and seminary study, I had the wonderful, affirming experience of ordination to the priesthood out in Lincoln, Nebraska (who knew that God traveled that far from the Eastern Seaboard?).  At that service, it was my privilege to kneel down on the chancel step and sing in plainsong the psalm for the day:

O God, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.  
Where can I go then from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

I don’t speak often about my call to the priesthood, because I want all of us (not just clergy) to understand ourselves to be called by God: to be deeply known by God, loved by God, and to know our God-given mission in life.  The Reformation reminded a wayward church long ago that the priesthood belongs to all believers, not just a few monks or nuns or clergy. 

Today’s scriptures describe several “call stories”: how the prophet Samuel was called, and how Jesus called his disciples.  Our challenge is to discover God’s call to us – today, in this life.  Life is immeasurably richer when we know that we are loved, and called, by God.  JBM  


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