My leaving isn’t for a better job per se; I’d happily stay working on many more issues of my favourite magazine. But God called, and I had to answer.
This month I had the opportunity to interview a theological giant. Stanley Hauerwas (p22) challenges a Western Church often fixated on making the world more just. Instead he says “the first task of the Church is to make the world the world”. It sounds like a riddle but the point is we are to emphasise the contrast between our sinful world and God’s Church. God has called us out of darkness to pursue justice, gentleness and steadfastness.
Our cosmic system is a daily reminder of his grace. As we wake we are blessed to have survived the night, to be greeted by the morning light. The Church of England’s Morning Prayer says, “The night has passed, and the day lies open before us”. As God wakes us, he calls us for a purpose.
Few of us have been drawn out of darkness in as remarkable a manner as Sasha Tsutserov (p56). But I can’t help be encouraged when I read how God called him out of the murky world of the KGB to plant churches in Russia.
As Lizzie Lowrie, a gentle encourager in my own calling, offers her perspective on doubt (p.61) I am heartened to hear how God breaks into our uncertainty. As she reminds us, fear doesn’t just belong at the start of the journey, it is something we continue to wrestle with as we pursue God’s will.
Not yet knowing about my own discernment journey, Justin commissioned me to write this month’s cover story on female ordination (p34). As I now set off to train towards ordained ministry in the Church of England I’m inspired by Constance Coltman’s story of single-purposed determination.
I have a habit of thanking the women I meet who were among the first to be priested in my denomination. I thank them for their courage in pursuing God’s call. Their bravery has paved the way for me and my ministry. When I look at the horizon to attempt a glimpse of what the Lord has in store for me, I give thanks to the God who calls.
It’s with gratitude that I remember that he calls the Sashas, the Constances, and even the Katies. And in this, my last First Word, I wonder, how is God calling you?