Matthew 21:28 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.
31 “Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”
This year we’ve been on a journey of revival as we have been asking God to revive our following of Him. Every one of the topics we’ve looked at, from Compassion to Relationships, deals with how we respond to God’s call on and in our lives. How do we respond to those who are hurting? How do we respond to God’s call to share the Gospel? And so on. We’re going to finish the calendar year with a dive into the topic of Responsiveness as we look at a few people in the Bible who were challenged to respond. Some responded quickly, while others were more reluctant (ahem, Moses).
In these stories we’ll find people we can relate to, with difficulties we can relate to. We’ll see people who acted on faith, even when it didn’t make sense. And we’ll see people who changed their mind and obeyed the Father.
There are times in our lives when we’re like the older son who says “no”, and times when we’re like the other son and say, “Yes, sir, I will” but don’t go.
It’s into this world that God sent his Son, Jesus, to be with us, to die for us, and to rise ahead of us. Because of this we are God’s forgiven children, and belong to Him forever. God’s great love demands a response, that we love God with everything we are, and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. And God calls His children specifically to spread the Good News even as we care for the poor and heal the sick. This is our response.
As we look into these stories of people who foreshadow God’s action, people who foreshadow Jesus, and those who are His parents, may God revive our responsiveness by overwhelming us with His love for us, not just now, but into 2023 and always.
“Come, Lord Jesus, revive our responsiveness to your calling. Show us how you respond to the desires of our heart, and overwhelm us with your love for us. Cause us to be so overwhelmed that your love overflows from our household WELLs into the lives of those around us, especially those who don’t know you yet. Even as we celebrate your birth, God with us, we look forward to you coming again. And we ask for your love that prompts our responsiveness to come quickly among us that many more would be connected to life in you, Jesus, today. Amen.”