Advent is a time of joy when we celebrate the steadfast faithfulness and love of God in the gift of his Son. Jesus is the ultimate Christmas gift providing forgiveness and salvation we do not deserve but God gives by his grace. Advent is a time to focus on the Christ-child and filter out the noise of society’s Christmas obsession with materialism. One of the best gifts we can give Jesus is our faithful service and commitment to do God’s work.
What does it mean to be chosen by God for a specific purpose? It is a calling and a blessing that often involves sacrifice and suffering. This is evident when we read the stories of the Prophets, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and of Jesus, as Servants of God. In the Old Testament those chosen as Prophets are not highly learned and cultured men. There is nothing seemingly unique or special about them. They are men who work the land. But in God’s eyes they are special and although often reluctant, they obey his call. Each of them has doubts on their worthiness and ability to take on the heavy responsibility of their calling. God assures those he chooses that by the work of the Spirit and their faithful efforts, they will accomplish the mission he gives them. He looks deeply within all those he chooses, and simply says, “Follow Me.”
One case study on serving God is the experience of Moses and his reaction to God in the burning bush telling him he is chosen to tell Pharaoh “let my people go.” Moses brings up every excuse he can think of. Who am I to tell Pharaoh such a thing? I won’t know what to say. I have no idea what to do. Isn’t there anyone else ready to go? But, as we know, God does not let him off the hook.
For the rest of his life, Moses is painfully caught in the middle between a rebellious, unfaithful, disobedient, incorrigible people, and the Word and Will of Almighty God. Responding to God’s call doesn’t mean there won’t be hard times involved in following his way.