Volume 2, Issue 3, March 1995

Many Hear the Call, Fewer Make Choice

One day I sat on a committee where the members were instructed to introduce themselves. The exercise started with the man next to me. He began his introduction by stating he had been "called to the bar." We knew immediately he was a lawyer.

When it came my turn I stated that I had been "called to the church." That identified me as a clergyperson.

Afterwards I got thinking about the meaning and implications of the term to be "called", a phrase I hear less used today than in my youth.

I observe about me many dedicated and beneficent volunteers contributing hours of valuable and saving work to help others and to make our community better. They must feel "called" to do the work they do.

But in the vocational field I wonder if there is as much a sense of calling? It is true that there are those who take upon themselves work that is of social, medical, serviceable, and educational assistance to others. Sometimes these jobs have the added benefit of being well paid vocations. Then the emphasis may become placed more on salaries than service.

From the standpoint of the Christian life the meaning of being "called" has a very spiritual significance. Jesus spent his ministry inviting people to become citizens of the realm of God. But it was not a token membership. It involved taking on the responsibilities of active and meaningful citizenship.

The writer of the Gospel of St. Matthew attributes Jesus quoting an old proverb in this respect and stating, "Many are called, but few are chosen."

The Christian life calls for fitness, dedication, and persistent faithfulness. Many hear the call; fewer make the right choice to follow the way of love and service Jesus affirmed. Christian service is greatly curtailed by the chilling indifference of those whom it has a right to be its loyal friends.

Search Articles by Keyword


Back to Issue Summary || Issue Index || Home

"Religion NOW" is published in limited edition by the Rev. Ross E. Readhead, B.A., B.D., Certificate of Corrections, McMaster University, in the interest of furthering knowledge and participation in religion. Dialogue is invited and welcomed.