Barbara Brown Taylor tells this story of the first pastor she remembers. She was 7 years old:
The pastor was a kind young man with no family of his own, who soon became a regular guest at our supper table. I grew to adore him. He was vital and funny and could catch an airborne fly with one hand. He listened to me when I talked and let me lead him on tours of my projects around the house. He seemed able, when he looked at me, to see a person and not only a child, and I loved him for it. One Sunday he asked me to sit up close to the pulpit. He wanted me to hear his sermon, he said, and as I listened to him talk about the beauty of God’s creation and our duty to be awed by it, all of a sudden I heard him telling the congregation about a little girl who kept tadpoles in a birdbath so that she could watch over them as they turned into frogs, and how her care for those creatures was part of God’s care for the whole world. It was as if someone had turned on all the lights-not only to hear myself spoken of in church, but to hear that my life was part of God’s life, and that something as ordinary as a tadpole connected the two….I became a detective of divinity (The Preaching Life, 15).
This week we’ve been considering what it means to be called by God into the leadership of a faith community. Many of us will gather at the Convention Center in Downtown Sacramento at 3:30 pm today to celebrate the ordination of Matt Smith.
What is your earliest memory of God calling you forth to become a detective of divinity? What ordinary part of your life connects you to God’s life? How might God be calling you to share this as a leader in the church?