A journey to ministry and service
It all started about a year ago. My daughter began badgering me: "Mom, you have to get an iPhone. Once you get one, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it." Well, I got one and she was right — I don't know how I survived before I got it. My handy little device helps me in so many ways throughout the day. There's an application for everything. I can do shopping and banking and check my e-mail, but that's only the beginning. I can read the news, check the weather report, listen to music, watch movies, and find out which Broadway shows have tickets available. In addition to all of these things, my phone has replaced several devices that I previously used all the time, like my calculator, my camera, and even my alarm clock. There's one more device that my iPhone replaced — my GPS. No more rummaging around in the glove box for me. No, I just type an address into my phone and away we go — off on another journey.
When navigating highways and byways, my phone can tell me what route to take, calculate how many miles it is to my destination, and even give me traffic reports along the way. But there's one thing it can't do. It cannot help me decide where I want to go. It can't tell me what path I should choose. It can't assist me on my spiritual journey. It can't help me discern a call or hear the voice of God or the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit. No, there are still some things that technology just cannot do.
This month ML examines journeys in ministry and service and explores ways to discern our vocational call or assist others in hearing the voice of God. Bill Graham shares his perspective on answering the baptismal call to ministry and service and recounts the journey of one woman religious and how she lived out her call. Jake Empereur, founding editor of ML, urges us to go beyond the Christmas of children that most of us celebrate and challenges us to reflect on the richness, depth, and beauty of the entire gospel of Jesus Christ. Bill Berg gives us practical ideas and suggestions to help congregations worship during this first Christmas season with the new Roman Missal. Finally, Pat Chuchla presents a touching spiritual reflection on the transforming power of new birth and new life.
I recently added one more application to my phone — a sky-watching application. It's fascinating and rather remarkable: I simply point my phone at the sky, and it is able to identify and locate stars, planets, and constellations. A week or so ago, I was outside on a clear night, and there was a light show. I took aim with my phone, and it guided me through the stars. I couldn't help but think of the magi looking into the sky without the benefit of sophisticated technology. With simple and steadfast faith, they were guided by the light of a star — a light that led them to the savior of the world. This Christmas, and throughout the year, may we constantly seek to follow the light of Christ, the light of the world, the light that guides us through the labyrinth of life's journeys, the light that dispels all darkness and brings us to everlasting life.