By Sam Fink
I have always rooted for the underdogs; in sports, politics, books and movies, I always find myself hoping for them to win. I’m not sure there is anything better than a last minute comeback from a character or team that everybody was sure would lose.
For this reason, I really like the story of Gideon. I think my favorite part of the story from Judges Chapter 6 is the call narrative in which a small, weak, cowardly little guy is told by the Angel of the Lord: “The Lord is with you, oh mighty man of valor.”
“The Lord is with you, oh mighty man of valor.”
Gideon was quick to explain to the Angel all of the reasons why he was wrong. He refutes the Angel’s words, asking, “If God is with me, why am I hiding from the Midianites while I prepare this wheat?”
Gideon continued on, saying that his clan was the weakest in all of Israel, and of them, he was the least. Then, in verse 14, God gives him a word he simply cannot refute: “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”
To be honest, for the last few days I’ve been feeling a lot like an underdog. I just found out that my pastor is leaving, and I’m not very comfortable with the idea of proceeding without him. I’ve asked why God would allow us all to spend years learning to depend on Pastor Giger, just to send him away.
I just found out that my pastor is leaving, and I’m not very comfortable with the idea of proceeding without him.
For many of us at ULC, Pastor Scott has been the face of our ministry for several years. In fact, just this fall I was remarking to some friends how nice it was to have a pastor who was simply trustworthy – who we knew was upright and honest. Now he’s leaving, and taking with him my entire understanding of the ministry of ULC, and subsequently my own calling. To be frank, I’m concerned… that is until I consider the nature of God’s “call.”
Ephesians tells us that our callings come from God, suggesting it is your personal vocation and way to grow the Kingdom. If you consider the nature of God’s “calls” for his people, you begin to realize that God is not generally in the business of making lateral moves; that is, He’s a promoter.
God is not generally in the business of making lateral moves; that is, He’s a promoter.
God wants growth: in us, in His congregations, in His kingdom. I am certain that Pastor Giger’s call to Carmel Lutheran Church is a promotion in his ministry, and in the same way, St. Luke is being promoted, too.
As a larger church family, we are now in a position to rise to an occasion, to believe that while our mission is changing, it’s not impossible. Just like Gideon, we can feel like the weakest of the weak at times. Yet God calls to us anyway.
Just like Gideon, we can feel like the weakest of the weak at times.
As we begin to imagine moving forward without Pastor Giger – when we are feeling lost, tired, or cowardly – let us remember God’s words to Gideon: “Go in this might of yours… do not I send you?”