by Laurie Gudim
It is the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, and, as you might expect, all the daily readings are about being called to speak on behalf of God. Ezekiel is lifted onto his feet from his prone position of worship and hears God say, “Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel.” Isaiah hears, “I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” In the reading from Acts we hear Peter describe how he dreamed that God bade him eat unclean foods and then sent him as a missionary to men from Caesarea. And Galatians recounts Paul’s acceptance by the church in Jerusalem as the emissary to the Gentiles.
It’s a good day to spend a moment in gratitude for these prophets and apostles, for without them we might not have a meaningful relationship with the God who knows us intimately and loves us deeply. They listened to God and responded by doing God’s bidding.
We could also take some time to thank and to pray for our clergy. In listening and responding to God’s call, they have dedicated their lives to speaking on behalf of God and to the care of God’s people, and are thus direct descendants of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Peter and Paul.
And it is also a good day for each one of us to reflect upon how and to what God has called us. In our Catechism we hear that it is the ministry of the laity to “bear witness to Christ wherever we may be and, according to the gifts given us, to carry on his work of reconciliation in the world (BCP, pg. 855).” God relies on each of us to listen and respond – to share our unique stories and abilities as emissaries of God’s love. Through what we say and what we do, in being vulnerable and willing to risk, at work and in our spare time, the message of God is in our hands. We are the spiritual leaders for whom the world is starving.
Take a look at the stories in today’s readings. How are you like the heroes in each? What do they inspire in you? How are you called by God? What would it take to equip you for your ministries?
When we accept the mission God has given us, we, too, take our place with Isaiah, Ezekiel, Peter and Paul as evangelists, truth-tellers, stolid neighbors, and enlightened prophets. It is a good day to spend a moment in gratitude and prayer for our own ministries – and for one another. God has given us the gift of ourselves and sees in each of us a unique and precious instrument of peace. May we see ourselves as God sees us!
Laurie Gudim works is a religious iconographer and writer in Fort Collins, Colorado. You can view some of her work at Everyday Mysteries.She has recently published her novel, Loving the Six-Toed Jesus, available from Amazon.
Image: SS. APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL 13th Century From the Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, Belozersk