By Rev. Canon Val Kenyon
I love September. Perhaps it is the coolness in the air that slowly returns to us as summer fades into autumn? Perhaps it is all the appeals to get ready for another year at school, new clothes, new books, new devices?
Perhaps it is all the programs in our churches and all around us that begin in September, a month that while unofficial, seems to mark a new year and new beginnings.
This idea of new beginnings made me think of new beginnings in Scripture, and of two in particular. The first was God’s calling to Abram and Sarai, at the ages of 75 and 65 respectively, to pack up all their belongings, to leave behind all that was familiar to them and to head off to something new, something largely unknown (see Genesis 12). And then there is the calling of Matthew, (Matthew 9), a man of questionable moral character, (certainly in the eyes of his neighbours) whom Jesus approaches with an invitation to follow Him, again not providing many details as to just what Matthew might expect in this new life. We can’t help but note that in both of these instances to move forward into what was next, each of them would have to move out of something known, familiar, even comfortable. That seems to be the trademark of many callings…they ask us to first move out of something before entering into something. It was true for Abram and Matthew, and it continues to be true for us.
Conceivably not in all cases, but certainly in many, we cannot get to the next thing that God has for us until we let go of aspects of where we are. This can be challenging as we often are very fond of where we are. And yet, as disciples of Jesus, ever learning and growing, moving out of and into is often at the core of transformation.
As we find ourselves in the middle of this season changing all around us, this season of new beginnings, are we asking ourselves, Scriptures like these invite us to consider to what is God calling us to today, and possibly even, what is God calling us away from today?
As the new groups of EFM are forming this month, perhaps Education for Ministry is a part of where you are being called to move to today. We are always pleased to talk to you about the possibilities. For any additional information, or to arrange an information session that works for you or your group, we are just a phone call or an email away. Please contact Libi Clifford, the Diocese of Huron EfM Coordinator or myself at EFM@huron.anglican.ca
Rev. Canon Dr. Val Kenyon is EFM Animator in Huron.