Joy in My Calling
By Jessica Brodie
“Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead….” Galatians 1:1
Have you ever been sent on an errand that made you feel important, as if the very fact that you’d been asked to do it meant you were worthy beyond measure?
In elementary school, my teacher used to pick a special child every day to bring her attendance sheet to the front office. She only asked the responsible, trustworthy, well-behaved kids, so those chosen to be the “attendance runner” felt like a superstar.
I know I did! If she called my name, I’d stride to the front of the room, then hurry down the halls with the coveted paper in hand, presenting it with pride. I felt so honored to be sent—the teacher I adored chose me!
One day, she selected a boy who used to act up in class. He’d been working hard all week to quiet his wiggles and outbursts, and that Friday she peered out at all the little faces in her sunny classroom and settled her gaze on him. When she called his name, I think she surprised him most of all. Beaming with joy, he held that paper like it was sacred.
Today’s verse reminds me of that boy. The apostle Paul used to be an enemy of Christ’s church. He’d persecuted Christians, dragging men and women off to jail for their faith—until Christ showed him the truth on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19). After his conversion, Paul became one of Christianity’s most influential leaders, spreading the Gospel tirelessly across Asia Minor. He was eventually martyred for his faith.
Like my former misbehaving classmate, Paul, too, was sent on a mission—from the highest Teacher ever, our Savior Jesus. Can you imagine his joy, perhaps his disbelief even, that Jesus chose him to share the Gospel across the land? That Jesus chose him to be an apostle? Can you imagine his smile?
Once, he’d been full of sin and condemned to death, but now he had eternal life. Sent not “from men,” he’d been sent with apostolic authority by God, joyful and supremely honored to carry God’s message.
Like Paul, we are all called by God to spread the Gospel. What joy we have in this!
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministry team. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won theAmerican Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.
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