One day, as usually was the case, a young waif, a little girl, stood at the street corner begging for food, money or whatever she could get. Now this girl was wearing very tattered clothes; she was dirty and quite disheveled.
As it happens, a well-to-do young man passed that corner without giving the girl a second look. But when he returned to his expensive home, his happy and comfortable family, and his well-laden dinner table, his thoughts returned to the young waif and he became very angry at God for allowing such conditions to exist.
He reproached God, saying, “How can you let this happens? Why don’t you do something to help this girl?”
Then he heard God in the depths of his being respond by saying, “I did. I created You!”
It would be nice to hear God’s voice as clearly as the man in this story or as clearly as Abraham. It would be nice to clearly be told by God what it is we’re supposed to do. Unfortunately, it seems that God doesn’t often communicate with us that way. But that doesn’t mean that God is silent.
I really do believe that God is still speaking today. Maybe not in the plain, straightforward conversation of scripture; maybe not in the form of a conversation, but God is trying to help us out. The Holy Spirit guides us when we try to understand scripture, the Divine is with us when we work together to try and discern a path for our lives, God is with us as that nagging feeling we get in our heart or our head, that feeling that there is something more we should be doing.
I believe that we are all constantly being called by God but all too often we resist that call. God is still speaking but most of the time we don’t want to hear we’re being told. God has plans but we just try to keep getting in the way.
Throughout Luke’s Gospel, Jesus has a plan. His goal is to get to Jerusalem for Passover, and to die there, a blameless victim of a political and social system that has gone wrong, a scapegoat that calls attention to man’s inhumanity to man; a sacrifice to end all sacrifice. Jesus had a plan, and in the text from this morning, it seems that the Pharisees may have tried to change it. The Pharisees – usually portrayed as enemies of Jesus – suddenly want to help him. “You’d better get out of here because Herod is plotting Your murder,” they tell him. Now, according to the story, these Pharisees are the ones who turn Jesus over to Herod and demand that he die for his supposed crimes. Why now would they try to warn Jesus away from the puppet king?
Perhaps they have their own reasons for try to get Jesus off course. But God has a plan and there’s no getting around it.
God has plans for us as well. Now, I’m not saying that our lives are already planned out for us and we have no free will. But I believe that there are things that our Creator wants for our world and that we are the only ones who can bring them to fruition.
God wants to gather us in “as a hen gathers in her chicks under her wings.” God wants to care for the world by making sure that we care for one another. We are called to share what we have so that others are not left wanting; we’re called to feed the hungry, to reach out to the stranger, to speak up for others who have no voice.
But instead, we try to get in the way of God’s plan, we try to be the fox – like Herod, like the Pharisees. We try to get in the way of our divine call by making excuses. We try to drown out God’s voice by turning up the TV, staying on the internet, ignoring the call. We kill the prophets and stone the messengers of our own hearts by allowing ourselves to get distracted with our own schedule and routines,.
We ask God to do things for us, we don’t always think about the ways that we can do things for God. We want to be told that we’ll be rewarded, that we’ll have as many descendants as the stars in the sky but we don’t want to make the sacrifices that are called for: the sacrifices of our time, our money, our comfort. It’s too frightening to even consider leaving our comfort zone, the safety of the life we’ve created.
But God won’t let us give up. God has a plan. God will keep calling us
What is God calling you to do? For what were you created? Is there a voice that you’ve heard, a passion that you’ve felt but have tried to ignore, something that pulls you but you’re afraid to do?
It’s scary to think about some of the jobs that God has for us. But when we have the courage to listen to that still, small voice; when we have the audacity to let go of our fears and follow God’s lead, we’ll see that God is right alongside us, watching out for us, protecting us with wings wrapped around her brood. When we release our heart to God’s plan, we’ll start to see all of the wonder of God’s Creation and we’ll recognize that we are part of that wonder. When we are free to understand to we are chosen children under God’s protection, we’ll find that we can’t help but to sing God’s song, even through the storms and the tumults and the hard times.
When we cry out and question what God’s plan is for a world that needs help, we have to open our hearts and our minds to our own divine calling. When we question how God plans to help a world in trouble we need to recognize the joy in God’s reply: I created you. I created you. I created you.