Aloha Friday Message – April 17, 2009

916AFC041709 Happy Aloha Friday, Beloved. Here is the commentary on the passages I asked you to investigate in last week’s message.

Look at Mark 1:19-20. 19 He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. 20 Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.

And John 20:24. 24
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

And John 21:6-18. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. 8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned home.

11 But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. 17 Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” 18 Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.

Zebedee, the hired men, Thomas’s twin, Peter’s wife and his mother-in-law, the bride and groom at Cana, the boy with the loaves and fishes (brought to Jesus by Andrew), the man carrying the water jug who leads the way to The Upper Room, the person who owned The Upper Room; these are not called by Jesus, and except for Zebedee we do not know their names. Of the Twelve who were called, we know their names and smatterings of their history. We know they were called by Jesus. Some who were called turned away, like “the rich young ruler.” Why did Mary decide to stay? How was it that she was the first to know that Jesus was in fact alive? And how about this chap? He was called but walked away from that call.

Matthew 19:21-22: 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

All of those who were called gave up all they had to follow Jesus. They had been prepared for that sacrifice. Maybe they grew up with Jesus in the neighborhood – Bethsaida – for Nazareth was just over the hills (bet’shayid = The House of Fishing, the name of a village near the Sea of Galilee).

Think now about Abram, called by God to leave his home in Ur Kasdim (which was probably somewhere in ancient Mesopotamia). Why Abram? And why was Abram – later Abraham – the one called upon to sacrifice his son, Isaac? I could not have done that. I am not adequately prepared for that.

I don’t think I have a definitive answer to any of the questions for reasons that will become clear soon enough. I can, however, share with you these observations:

Those who were called had been prepared to answer that call. They were ready when God spoke. They did not respond with “Yes, but….” They did not argue, they did not hesitate. They got up and went because they had been instilled with the faith – in kind and in quantity – to respond.

When I was a kid I learned a song about The Twelve Disciples. I still use the lyrics when I want to remember all the names – sort of. I get lost once in a while. Anyway, the chorus of the song states, “He has called us too. We are His disciples, we His work must do.” So, what is my calling? (Finally we get to it!) Some many thousands of books are written about that, so many hours of introspection and worry, so much longing to know the answer to that eternal question, “Why am I here?”.

What is your calling? How do you know? How do we discern what He created us to be? How did these guys, the original twelve, know? The only answer I have is, “They just knew because they were prepared to know.” Here’s the thing. The call came from the outside and something inside responded. It is my belief that the part of them that responded was put there by God. It did not respond to introspection. It responded to an external connection. These followers were not looking for their true being inside themselves. They were holding their true being open, revealing it for God and the entire world to see. Sure God can see and read the heart, can reach the heart, can soften or harden the heart, but the heart held out to him as an offering is a sure way to find out what preparation you have been given by him for your calling.

When you hear him call, you must choose to respond, or turn away. The call is true. The response, when true, is awesomely clear; when it is not a true response, the result is a call to remain open, not shut down and walk away.

We have been called. Only you can respond to The Call that is the core of your life because it is spoken only for you.

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I have a request for you who are called to be Prayer Warriors. Crucita and I have a dear friend, J. C., who is young, beautiful in every way, and wonderfully talented. We traveled with her to New York with the Kaua`i High School Chorus. She is already a Woman of Faith and Virtue. She has exuberance for life that is inspiring. She sings and dances like a Broadway professional and is still a high school student. She’s had more than her share of burdens with her health, but does not let that impede her generous sharing of her many gifts. Recently she has had an ever more difficult time health-wise. Upon investigation, her doctors discovered a brain tumor. We are asked to pray on her behalf. Some of you will be called upon by the Holy Spirit to intercede for her and her family. You will know the call when you hear it. Some will be called by Jesus to pray for his healing touch. You will know the call when you feel his touch. Others will be called to spread the prayer request to still more prayer-partners. You will know the call when your heart and mind know just who will answer the call. Some will find a connection outside themselves that will spiritually connect them to J. C. She has been called to walk forward in faith. Are you prepared to accept the call to walk with her?

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, in love forever — at your service

Peace be with you. Peace is with you! Respond by sharing it. Remember to pray for others God whom has sent to us for support and intercession: JC, along with JT, KT, ZT, LL, JK, C&SDS, DT, JM, JP, DR, SC, RM, CF, GJ, RH, JB, WT, CC, LC, DO, EV, BG, and everyone who prays for us, for our friends and benefactors, our children, godchildren, grandchildren, siblings, parents, ministers, leaders, everyone we love and anyone who loves us, and everyone who opposes us in any way.

chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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