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FROM OUR PASTOR

Some voices are unmistakable, their tone and timbre unique and interesting, making them unforgettable. Some voices are calming and offer comfort in difficult times, such as the famous news anchor Walter Cronkite. Some voices are funny and frankly cringeworthy such as Fran Drescher's character, Fran Fine, on the sitcom The Nanny. Sometimes a voice becomes synonymous with an entire genre of music such as Hank Williams or Louis Armstrong. Other times a voice such as Morgan Freeman's shapes the voice of God for an entire generation. What voice(s) are unmistable to you? Your mother or father? Maybe a mentor, teacher, or charismatic leader?

The voice of God cannot be defined in human terms, the tone and timbre a mystery. However, God's call is often unmistakable. We know that God calls through water, word, bread, and wine. God also calls through many and various ways through the prophets. This month we will hear the stories of four prophets, John the Baptist (often called the last prophet), Samuel, Jonah, and Moses. All four were called by God in unique ways. John was called to prepare the way of Jesus before he was even born! Samuel was so confused by God's call that he repeatedly reported to someone else. Jonah ran from God literally! Moses told God to call his brother Aaron! Yet, God called them, just as they were, flawed, sinful, arrogant, and slow. God called them to great things beyond their wildest imaginations.

God calls and we answer. Well... Maybe... Sometimes we answer willingly. Sometimes we answer reluctantly. Sometines we run thinking we can escape God's call! When is the last time you heard the voice of God call you by name?Maybe it was yesterday. Maybe it was fifty years ago. Maybe you have yet to hear... Maybe you are currently on the run. Regardless of what you may have heard God has called you and God is still calling you.

This new year be assured that God is calling you. God is calling you, just as you are, to be part of this community of faith, to grow in discipleship, generosity, and love. My prayer for each of you this year is that this be the year you hear God calling you to serve in ways you never imagined possible.

Amen.

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