By Ramona Bamgbose
Lectionary reading for 4/6/2022: Psalm 20; Habakkuk 3:2-15; Luke 18:31-34
Selected passage for reflection: Luke 18:31-34
Luke 18:31-34, The Message
Then Jesus took the Twelve off to the side and said, “Listen carefully. We’re on our way up to Jerusalem. Everything written in the Prophets about the Son of Man will take place. He will be handed over to the Romans, jeered at, ridiculed, and spit on. Then, after giving him the third degree, they will kill him. In three days he will rise, alive.” But they didn’t get it, could make neither heads nor tails of what he was talking about.
The Mystery of Calling (Vocation)
Have you ever found yourself in a season of life doing something that makes absolutely no sense but is exactly where you should be or what you should be doing? Recently, I met someone who was a former flight attendant who moved away from their hometown to live in an AirBnB to manage the property in a not so nice area making only $50 a week outside of free housing. WHAA?!? Why would they give up their job making “good” money for what I deemed was a life of poverty? It made no sense to me. And yet, I could relate with their relentless quiet reassurance that God had called them to this place.
This passage in scripture highlights that some things to which we are called are not flattering and when communicated with those in our communities may not be understood. Sometimes vocation comes with loneliness not because we are not loved but because the work is ours alone. What God is calling us to comes with great satisfaction but sometimes getting there can be hard. Lonely. Even painful. How do we embrace calling when it is not glamorous? How do we move towards what God wants when it seems to go against what we want? How do we move forward when we feel the burden of the calling, and while surrounded by those who love us - they just don’t understand us.
Friends, I do not have answers for you. Yet, I know from the story of Jesus that our pursuit of calling is not in vain. His focus and dedication to that which he was called to had the lasting impact of salvation that still endures today. Our pursuit of vocation may not be realized in our time but what could offer us assurance is that living out our vocation has deep impact. Sometimes our vocation is not pretty but necessary.
Respond & Rest
I will end this reflection with the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his Mountaintop sermon delivered on April 3, 1968 a day before he was assassinated,
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I'm happy tonight.
I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!”
Ase (Let it Be So) and Amen (So be it).
About the Author
My name is Ramona Bamgbose. I live in Chicago, IL. I am a full-time Operations Manager with House of Hope at Soul City Church and a part-time Behavioral Health Chaplain. I am Co-Head of the Bamgbose Household with my wonderful husband Anthony and three beautiful children; twins Olivia and Elias and 7 month old, Judah. I love the local church and I love being a Spiritual/Pastoral Care Provider. My hope always is that God would get the glory and am a big fan of “letting my life speak.” My motto “Preach the gospel and when necessary use words.” - St. Francis of Assisi