In this advent season, waiting & watching, Known & unknown, Certainty & uncertainty, Hopeful & hopeless, Stability & instability, in the now & yet to be, We pray for peace & love, Grace & wisdom, Justice & hope, For all those who make decisions now, which impact what will be.
Originally written on 12th December 2018, in light of the Brexit ‘meaningful vote’
A few years ago we were on a motorway journey and pulled in at a service station. We’d been driving for some time so I was sure in need of a coffee – so got into the Starbucks queue.
I placed my order and, as they often do in coffee shops, the guy behind the counter asked my name and proceeded to scribe it onto the cup in bold black sharpie. I got my coffee and went to sit with the family.
About half an hour or so later, Louise wanted a hot chocolate so off I went back to the Starbucks queue. I placed my order, but this time he didn’t ask my name, he said – ‘it’s Dan isn’t it?’
I was amazing, in a busy service station coffee shop, amongst the busyness of his day, I wasn’t just another customer to process through the coffee conveyor – he’d remembered my name – I felt valued for who I was.
When I began leading services, about 14 years ago now! – there was one verse from the Bible that played a massive part in my accepting that this was what God was calling me to.
It comes from Isaiah 43…
“Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
When I began to feel God was asking me to serve him by preaching, I didn’t think I was good enough. I thought I was too young, naive, full of faults and would just fail God.
But God’s words to me were that I was redeemed – that despite my own fears and feelings I wasn’t good enough, God would compensate for them & overcome them.
That those things about me that I thought meant I wouldn’t be good enough, were not a problem at all because God had called me by name. My name, no one else’s, I was the one God was calling.
I believe God is calling you too.
God created you with a unique set of skills, personality and passions – and that unique combination is what makes you you.
God is calling by name, because God wants you to know him, to hear him, to be the person you are and God made you to be.